7 Ways Aquatic Technology Assists in 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.
Here are 7 ways aquatic technology can help your patients accomplish their weight loss goals:
- Reduce pain. 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.
- 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.
- Improve balance. 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.
- Increase compliance. 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.
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>>