It’s summer in the Rockies... a time for fun in the sun! But do you suffer from neck, back, or joint pain? Are you struggling to stay aﬂoat with your workouts and exercise? Set sail in an aquatic ﬁtness or therapeutic regimen and ﬂoat your way to ﬁtness!
Healthcare professionals, athletes and the general population are turning to aquatic ﬁtness and therapy to treat a myriad of health conditions as well as offer a great medium to promote strength, endurance, and ﬂexibility. Water provides a controlled environment for reeducation of muscles and development of therapeutic activities and skills for neurological and muscular impairment. Activity in water has been shown to help with joint pain, stiffness, muscle spasms, back pain, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, and ﬁbromyalgia. Other conditions such as lymphedema, neuropathy, and general muscle sprain and strain's will beneﬁt as well.
Counter to, and in conjunction with land-based exercise, training, and therapeutic intervention, water promotes relaxation, improves circulation, decreases muscle spasm and allows for increased range of motion and ﬂexibility. The respiratory and cardiovascular system beneﬁt as well. Water provides buoyancy, allowing for limited or non-weight-bearing exercises for people with joint pain, weakness, limited tolerance to up-right positions and weight-bearing, decreased endurance and for pre or post op bone and joint injuries and surgery. Various studies strongly support the beneﬁts of Aquatic Therapy in the reduction in low back pain.
The various properties of water contribute to many therapeutic effects. The ability to use water for resistance in place of weights or gravity, the near or constant temperature permits good thermal stability for warmth and increased circulation, and hydrostatic pressure provides stability. Buoyancy reduces the effects of gravity, and with water turbulence or waves, it allows for not only resistance training but gentle mobilization and movement.
Reduce the Risk of Injury
Water also reduces the risk of injury, such as in cases of neuropathy where balance and proprioception can be compromised. Individuals who have had strokes, Spinal cord injuries, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and other neurological conditions, can beneﬁt from water ﬁtness to improve balance, strength, functional mobility, ambulation, and in general, perform activities that otherwise on land would be difficult. In some conditions, especially post-surgical, water ex beneﬁcial to improve early mobilization, weight-bearing, proprioception and range of motion, progressing to a land-based exercise regimen. A temperature of 86-93° is a good therapeutic level, however for others who want endurance or general resistance training, that water may be too warm.
In addition to promoting general health in function, water training can prolong the participation in careers of many athletes involved in recreational and competitive sports. Repetitive impact and loading can be tough on a body such as in marathon runners, soccer and basketball players, cyclists and skiers. In addition to reducing stressful loading, it allows athletes to maintain a high level cardiovascular ﬁtness, poor in trunk stability, and offers a good cross training environment.
Even little guppies and minnows can beneﬁt from water exercise, and offers a great option when exercise isn’t a favorite! Kids with conditions such autism, CP, and Down Syndrome can beneﬁt not only from the fun factor and warmth, but the motor, cognitive and sensory stimulation water provides. Enhanced muscle tone, coordination, and motor skill development are only some of the beneﬁts of water activity. Is your child shy or very social? Participation in varied sized groups can facilitate awesome communication and social skills!
Equipment in the pool offers variety and challenge. Add a kick board, balance board, noodles, ﬂoat mats and water weights for fun and function, i.e. balance, resistance, proprioception. The token squirt gun or Super Soaker are staples and can teach eye / hand coordination. A snorkel and ﬁns, resistance bands and bungie-belts can provide resistance and endurance training. Many pools are equipped with underwater treadmills, bikes, resistance currents, inclines and video cameras for movement analysis.
Aquatic exercise is a fun and functional activity that can be a solo endeavor or great way to reengage friends and families, challenge the athlete, promote a positive arena for functional and therapeutic progress, plus offers a great environment to ﬂoat!
Put the ﬂoat back in your boat… REVOLUTION REHAB offers two locations to meet your Aquatic Therapy and Fitness needs! See you at the pool!
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