Swimming is an excellent aerobic exercise in the early stages of ALS, with minimal risk of injury to joints, muscles and tendons. Water allows for freedom of movement and reduces the energy required to perform movement.
The water temperature should be warm to reduce the incidence of cramping and premature fatigue.
You may do the following active movements even if you can’t swim laps. You should perform all of the exercises in the presence of another person for safety. You may need assistance with moving your limbs for some of the exercises.
Stand facing the side of the pool. Hold on to the edge with your hands, keeping your elbows straight. Push your legs out behind you and kick up and down with your knees slightly bent.
Stand facing the side of the pool. Hold on to the edge with your hands, keeping your back straight. Move one leg at a time straight out to the side, then back to the center. Repeat with the other leg.
Turn sideways and hold on to the edge of the pool with one hand. Alternate legs in a marching movement, bringing your knees to waist height.
Stand with your back straight and your arms straight in front of you just below water level. Move your arms straight out to the sides, then back to the front.
Stand with your back straight, arms at your sides with the palms facing forward. Bend your arms at the elbows to touch your shoulders. Return your arms to your sides.
Stand with your back straight and your arms straight out to the sides. Circle your arms in a clockwise motion from the shoulder, keeping your elbows straight. Reverse the motion to counterclockwise.
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