Hydrotherapy is Much More Than Water Aerobics

Enjoy the cool water of a pool, while you exercise, even on the hottest of Florida summer days... 🏝🏖❤️  Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

I recently found myself in a conversation with someone who believed his wife’s hydrotherapy was the equivalent of a water aerobics class.

I quickly set him straight by pointing out:

  • hydrotherapy offers so many benefits to both seasoned athletes and recreational warriors,
  • water aerobics or water exercise classes are an excellent form of exercise for both men and women of all ages ...

and he should give it a try.

Hydrotherapy is one of the most effective and therapeutic ways to exercise (and rehabilitate) in a calm and relaxing environment.

The water’s buoyancy decreases the load or impact which passes through weight-bearing joints by up to 90% allowing for more activities and movement with less stress and load on the joints.

Exercising in water can be just as intense as exercising on land but without the physical impact on your body.

Bringing your rehab session into the pool has a vast array of health and therapeutic benefits including:

  • Relief from pain, swelling and muscle tension – The support of the water helps to stimulate blood circulation, reduce muscle spasm(s) and relieve pain.
  • Increased cardiovascular fitness and endurance – The combination of cardiovascular exercise coupled with the resistance of the water ensures your body is getting a complete full body workout. In addition, the water pressure helps regulate blood circulation, which helps keep both your heart healthy and your doctor happy.
  • Alleviates joint pressure and increases joint mobility – Traditional impact exercises on land can be taxing for some people. Our bodies are subject to much less gravity in water, therefore reducing the joint-impact when running or bouncing in the water. This is particularly appealing to people with joint conditions such as arthritis or persons currently undergoing physical rehabilitation. In fact, hydrotherapy has been shown to be the leading form of therapy for people suffering from joint problems.
  • Enhanced flexibility –  As the body moves through the water while moving in various directions, our range of motion and flexibility naturally increase with the push and pull of water.
  • Promotion of wellbeing and relaxation – Just being in a calm body of water can greatly reduce stress and anxiety. A Polish study found that aquatic exercise significantly decreased anxiety and negative mood states in participants. Also, in Southwest Florida when the temps are still touching 90* on a regular basis, exercising in the heat may not seem overly appealing. Dipping into the pool is a refreshing alternative.

The bottom line is hydrotherapy is great for everyone and has added benefits for people who are recovering from an injury, those engaging in both pre- and post-operative training, anyone looking for back pain therapy, functional training as well as improving general fitness.

It is also used by many athletes as a low-impact recovery training session.  

Hydrotherapy is a safe and effective form of exercise for all ages and skill levels and can be a great stepping stone for patients looking progress into gym-based exercise programs. Give it a try!

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