Aquatic Wellness for the New Year
The new year is well underway and many of you and/or your clients have created fitness goals. While everyone’s goals are different, aquatic exercise can provide a boost for many fitness goals. For example, if the goal is simply to get in more steps, but movement is difficult because of dealing with chronic pain, warm water provides a freeing environment where joints are lightened and muscles are loosened, making movement easier. Getting just a few minutes of light walking in on an underwater treadmill provides a great workout and helps to loosen stiff joints. Slight increases in distance or time can help to improve self-confidence on land as well. On the other end of the spectrum, those who are trying to get 100+ miles of running in a week can use underwater treadmill running as an effective method to increase mileage without risking injury.
Each person’s path to wellness or fitness looks different, but here are few reasons why incorporating water into a 2020 fitness plan could be beneficial:
- According to research, Aquatic High Intensity Interval Training may be beneficial for individuals with osteoarthritis. Studies show reduced joint pain and improved balance, function and mobility. These types of improvements can help patients reverse a downward spiral of fearing they cannot participate in fitness activities because of the pain.
- For athletes, running on an underwater treadmill with the resistance jets at 100% can create a greater change in metabolic cost than running on a land treadmill at a full incline. Adding variety to workouts can also help to improve fitness levels. While running in water may seem “easier,” it has been found that aquatic therapy is beneficial to achieve threshold-intensity training while lowering the stress on the joints that is caused by land running.
- Hydrotherapy is not simply an easier way to exercise. It can have additional benefits for aging adults. Research shows that hydrotherapy is a positive way to improve flexibility, sleep patterns, and reduce muscle and joint pain in middle-aged and older adults with a history of orthopedic limitations and discomfort.
As if those weren’t enough reasons, the benefits of resistance training with water running on the underwater treadmill include reduced soreness, body fat and inflammation while also improving muscle mass and strength performance.
As you make goals for your clients, patients, athletes or yourself, consider the value that underwater activity can bring to fitness goals in 2020.