Water has the power to heal people! I am not talking about the holy water but the free-flowing tap water that’s available in each of our homes. Hot-water and ice-water compressions are usually suggested for people with a sprain or strain to their ankle and knees; isn’t it quite common for people to take a long plunge in the warm shower to clear their minds or take off stress? A lap in the pool is even better as it helps you enjoy the natural breeze outside in the cold water devoid of any thoughts of the world surrounding you. Beyond the bucket and mug bathing that evolved centuries ago we have come up with several modern adaptations including the Jacuzzi, watsu (underwater shiatsu) and thalassotherapy that includes immersing in seawater pools of different temperatures and different degrees of salinity. It’s the water’s thermal properties that help in healing. When hot or cold water touches the body, it sends impulses all over the body with the help of nerves that are present at the surface of the skin. These impulses lessen pain sensitivity, improvise our immune system and also improve blood circulation.
More Cooler Things to Do at the Pool
The sight of a swimming pool during hot summer months makes us all think about hitting the pool irrespective of the fact whether or not we know swimming. But gone are the days when the pool simply involved wading across the water back and forth doing butterfly or breast strokes. There are some of us who simply wet our feet in the pool and some others who love to stand in one corner where the water level barely reaches our chest. But now, you need not know swimming at all to get into the pool and reap its benefits. Call it hydrotherapy, aqua exercise or water running there’s nothing that can beat the benefits of exercising in water. It was not long back in 1930 that a marine biologist named Alister Hardy suggested that our ancestors were more aquatic than previously thought (https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/activity/aqua-aerobics). Now, our love for aqua aerobic classes and hydrotherapy is proving it without a doubt!
Generally, walking and running are excellent exercises for staying fit or losing weight. Walking can be practiced by any individual irrespective of his/her weight and health condition but running is not everyone’s cup of tea as it exerts pressure on the joints and shock travels to the legs and spine equivalent to five times to that of the person’s body weight. Surprisingly, walking and running in water is now administered as a form of physical therapy for those individuals recuperating from hip, knee and back injuries/surgeries. Its claimed to be the best form of exercise for those suffering from arthritis and joint pain. But do you know the reason for this? Immersed in water up to the waist you bear almost 50% of the body weight and water’s buoyancy allows you to move around more easily with less stress on the muscles and joints. This support promotes your movement freely here and there helping to increase flexibility and balance. Experts vouch that this buoyancy of water helps reducing the impact on your joints by more than 85%. Exercising in water builds cardiovascular stamina as it brings down the basic resting heart rate and seems to be best for the heart. But just because water is soft on your joints and muscles it does not mean that its effects are also softer than regular workout. In fact, it is an excellent method to shed away calories even for those people with arthritis problems as it strengthens and tones muscles, improves muscle flexibility and every movement made makes you fight against resistance making your workout more intense than your regular workout. Muscles work harder burning more fat and toning your body more rapidly as they are fighting with water every time you do some movement. You can even try jumping jacks, water squats and lunges, elbow twist and water curls in the pool water.
Hydrotherapy helps in relaxing mentally and physically. There are even water-friendly treadmills that can be placed in pools for people to exercise. There is a study in a reputed journal that shows that water workouts might benefit stroke survivors. There are even spin bikes and stationary bicycles that can be used for exercising in the water. While hydrotherapy benefits everybody it is especially good for those with joint and knee pain and also for insomniacs as the water is soothing and has a relaxing effect on the body. But it is recommended that pregnant women, kids and elderly people must avoid extreme temperatures and get a green signal from the physician before going for such therapies.
So, whether or not you know swimming, whether or not you are extremely fit and healthy and irrespective of whether or not you have exercised before, aqua aerobics and water exercises can be practiced by anyone who has the determination to stay healthy and a passion for water.
How Can Aqua Exercises Help You Slim? https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-105285/How-aqua-exercises-help-slim.html
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.