Common Benefits of Aquatic Exercise
By: Marlee Moore
There is no place on earth like being in the water! Many characteristics of vertical immersion make aquatic exercise a perfect fit for people with a variety of health issues. The list below is a great visual to help reinforce the benefits of water and the impact Aquatic Therapy can have on your recovery or prevention journey.
- Immersion reduces gravitational forces acting on the body, reducing stress on load-bearing joints and tissues
- Depth of immersion can be altered to increase or decrease gravitational loading as desired.
- Buoyancy can be harnessed to achieve goals- by having participants anchor, unweight or suspend exercises they will decrease impact, increase core activation, train balance and further reduce the influence of gravity.
- Turbulence and buoyancy constantly challenge balance and core stability. Therefore, the pool is an excellent place to train balance and strengthen core.
- Aquatic exercise offers infinitely adaptable resistance: from zero load to maximal loading, depending on how movement is done. When movement stops, load instantly disappears, reducing possibility of aggravating pain and/or the possibility of (re) injury when tissues are healing.
- Aquatic resistance is felt in the direction of the movement. Therefore, all ranges and planes of movement can be challenged and trained as desired. Arcing, curved and multi-planar movements done in daily living (and sports) are easily imitated and strengthened in the water.
- Movement is slower in the water, giving the brain more time to process required actions. This is excellent for neurological re-training.
- Muscle activation is mostly concentric in the water rather than the familiar blend of concentric (shortening) and eccentric (lengthening) loading experienced with gravitational, land-based training.
- Concentric muscle action tends to create less post- exercise soreness then eccentric loading. This is an important factor for people in pain! When you have less soreness, you enjoy movement more.
- Water is soothing, providing calming sensory input, assisting people to relax. Muscle guarding, stiffness and tremor are usually decreased, permitting people to move better and more comfortably.
Are you suffering from pain or interested in aquatic therapy for recovery? Why not see what the benefits of Aquatic Therapy and the water could do for you. Please contact ProActive Rehab, 705-788-1480, to book your assessment and to start your Aquatic Therapy journey to recovery.