Indoor Swimming to Stay Fit

Nicole Waddington
ORA Physical Therapist, Nicole Steffes

At least twice a week, you’ll find Quad City ORA Physical Therapist Nicole Steffes, PT, MPT, in the water. She says swimming is for her – a self-described “waterbug” since childhood – pure pleasure.

Nicole, a physical therapist with ORA Physical Therapy, says it’s also one of the best workouts you can do.

“Swimming has many benefits over impact sports, especially in the winter when you can’t easily exercise outdoors,” she says. “It’s easy on your joints, too.”

Nicole recommends swimming for many of her own patients.

“Aquatic therapy is a great option for post-surgery for joint replacements, or for those who have arthritis or low-back pain. Aquatic therapy is also good for fibromyalgia, or other chronic pain syndromes.”

Nicole recommends that new swimmers start small and build up gradually, and rest a day or two in between swimming.

“Try swimming 2 or 3 times a week for about 15 minutes,” she suggests. “You’d be surprised what you get out of 15 minutes!”

Nicole’s top 6 reasons to swim:

1. It’s a great indoor alternative when there’s snow or bad weather.

2. It works your entire body. You use arms, legs and core muscles and burn the calories.

3. It’s a great aerobic workout for promoting heart health.

4. It’s low-impact, great for joint pain, arthritis, post-surgical rehab.

5. For those who have trouble with weight-bearing exercise, swimming is not stressful or painful for joints.

6. There are so many strokes you can do! If your shoulder hurts, you can try the sidestroke and breaststroke.

Where to swim indoors

Scott County Family Y: With pools at 3 locations, you can find an open lap to support your schedule.

Two Rivers YMCA: Serving the Illinois side, the pool hosts times for lessons as well as open swims.

Rock Island Fitness Center: Open swims and adult lap time available Monday – Saturday. Closed Sunday.