How Aquatic Technology Helps With Weight Loss
Do you have patients that need to lose weight? Maybe it is necessary for an upcoming surgery (or as an alternative to surgery), or to decrease the effects of a chronic condition or to improve one’s quality of life. Whatever the reason, it seems often patients need to lose some amount of weight.
Exercise is an important factor in losing weight for your patients, however the need for their weight loss is typically met with a lot of resistance, especially by those dealing with chronic conditions or aching joints that need repairing. Unfortunately, the very thing they need to do causes their pain to increase. Water therapy and exercise using aquatic technology offer extremely effective ways to accomplish these goals comfortably.
11 Ways Hydrotherapy Helps With Weight Loss
Thanks to the buoyancy of water, bodyweight can be reduced from 20%-80% depending on the water level. Most people that experience pain while walking or exercising on land find that their pain is drastically reduced when in the water. This combined with the warmth of the water provides the ability to do more activity once pain is decreased and joints are more mobile.
Most patients report a marked improvement in pain levels once they are in a warm water environment. Multiple factors are at work to aid in their reprieve; warm water relaxes sore muscles and increases flexibility while buoyancy eases pressure on aching joints and facilitates movement.
Decrease risk of injury
Beginning any exercise programs for your patients requires a gradual approach to avoid major injuries or problems. Aquatic therapy is no different, but the risk of injury is greatly reduced in the water thanks to reduced strain on joints as well as the removal of the risk of falling. This allows for greater freedom of movement and variety of activities that can be done.
Increase cardiovascular endurance
Between the added resistance of the water and the additional length of time people are able to walk or jog on an underwater treadmill, cardiovascular endurance can be greatly increased. This endurance transfers to land, with the ability to tolerate more strenuous activities on land as well.
Because water in a contained environment moves and bounces around continuously, balance is constantly being challenged. Often keeping balance in the water is done subconsciously, but can have a great impact on one’s ability to react to outside factors that challenge balance. This too transfers to land and increases one’s ability to do more activity there.
Increase lean body mass
According to a study conducted at Texas A&M University, more lean body mass was gained and body fat lost during an underwater treadmill training program compared to a strictly land-based treadmill training program. Using the natural viscosity of the water and added resistance with resistance jets, any therapy or exercise requires more work than on land, therefore increasing muscle.
Elevate mental outlook
Once your patients start doing things they never imagined, such as walking for 20 minutes straight or even jogging, they begin to see that their goals ARE achievable. This not only affects their progress, but also their mood.
Many patients eventually skip physical therapy or training appointments because they are tired or in pain. With water therapy, most often, patients refuse to miss their pool time because they feel so much better afterward.
Do more than you can on land
Once pain has decreased and flexibility has increased, patients find they are able to move freely and accomplish more than they thought possible. Some will find they can walk longer than they have in a long time. Others will discover that even running is a possibility! This helps to increase confidence and mental outlook for patients who may be struggling to see results.
Burn more calories
Underwater running has been shown to burn more calories than land running. This way, your patients are getting a time-efficient workout with the same or better results.
Gain muscle strength
Studies have shown that exercising underwater in combination with strength training can help to increase lean muscle mass more than land exercise alone. This means your patients are losing weight and gaining additional strength to increase their stamina and capabilities on land.
The hearts and lungs benefit
The hydrostatic pressure of water produces the equivalent of 17 elastic bandages wrapped around the body. This means that patients’ venous return is greater, so the heart begins working more efficiently which increases blood flow. With that same pressure, the lungs are getting a workout and cardiovascular endurance begins to improve.
85-year-old lost 35 lbs
Margaret was faced with two knee surgeries and the task of losing weight. She arrived at Pieters Family Life Center in Rochester, NY where she began water walking and exercising her way to a 36-lb. weight loss. She not only created a healthy and active lifestyle change but she found a social connection with everyone in her aquatic exercise classes. Begin the process of exercising like Margaret – 1 to 2 times a week for 30 minutes.
Business Man Juggling Work and Family Lost 50 lbs
Ken gained weight due to working long, strenuous hours for his job and then coming home in the evenings to a busy family. He wasn’t able to find time for himself until he began working out in ACCUA’s HydroWorx pool. His goal was to lose weight in an efficient manner, maximizing his exercise time. In six months of working with the staff, Ken lost over 50 pounds and made amazing, healthy progress.
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To view the many research studies done on the effects of underwater treadmill work please visit our Research Studies page>>
To see successful weight loss case studies using aquatic technology, view our video library>>