Take a Dive for Better Health
By Tom Herrin
When people have health issues that limit their abilities to exercise, they often look for something that is more friendly to an ailing body. Many have injuries or weaknesses that do not deal well with some of the regular exercises that are so routine. The high-intensity exercises that are the norm may be too hard on joints and muscles that have suffered some kind of injury or are currently in a rehabilitative state. These need some special considerations in order to enable them to heal properly without more damage. Strengthening the muscles while protecting the body is one of the best things about exercising in the water.
It Can Improve Strength
When people are in need of rehabilitating injuries, it is important that they be able to build muscle without placing undue stress on the injured part. Increasing muscle strength can help to tighten many areas where things such as soft tissue injuries have occurred. Exercising in the water can provide up to 42 times the resistance of air without the effects of gravity. Many people use water in various ways to enhance the healing process.
It Can Improve Range of Motion
The continuous force of the water moving in different directions against the body can increase flexibility. Since the water slows the movements, impact on the joints is much lower. Hydrotherapy is often used for those with sore and damaged joints, particularly knees and shoulders. It may help to take pressure off as it heals itself.
It Can Be Relaxing and Stress-Relieving
Most of us have had the experience of watching water and feeling relaxed. It is considered one of most soothing activities there is. I used to keep a fish aquarium in my office to help maintain a peaceful environment. Anytime I felt stressed, watching for a few minutes could provide the relief needed. I would feel refreshed and revitalized. According to one study, aquatic exercises could have a major impact on decreasing anxiety and negative moods in women. As a husband of over 40 years, that sounds pretty significant. It may even be something that people could consider doing as couples or families. Being in the water is almost always enjoyable to most of us. When we are having fun, it seems to take the work out of the exercise.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Berkeley, Calif.