A healthy mind and body is possible only with regular exercising which becomes a task to be done with the rising temperatures. Water workouts can be an excellent form of exercise for those who are overweight, suffering from lower back pain, arthritis, and injuries to the lower extremities.
Water has many benefits; be it dietary or physical, water can very well replace those cardio machines and help you lose weight and stay fit without sweating a bit in this scorching heat. It can also work as a healing factor for those many chronic health issues like pains and stiffness. Dr. Gerd Mueller, Chairman and MD, AktivOrtho said, “It is very handy for those who cannot perform their daily exercises on the ground due to excessive pain or other reasons like disability. Water exercise is smooth, very therapeutic and easy to perform. Water buoyancy takes almost entire body weight off the gravity. The reduced body weight is the main advantage of water therapy that is recommended for the patients with arthritis and other bone-related problems.”
Water yoga, aqua aerobics, and swimming are some of the most talked about exercises that are performed under water. India’s leading Holistic Health Guru Mickey Mehta said, “Aqua exercises are the best cardiovascular exercises which show the most amounts of benefits on any individual as the whole body works together in coordination.”
Magic of Water Workouts
Dr. Ambarish Akre, Physiotherapist said, “You can expect to burn 400 to 500 calories per hour when exercising in the water. Additionally, water offers 12 times the resistance of air, which helps to improve muscle strength. It helps improve strength and mobility in patients recovering from surgeries and those suffering from painful and/or chronic musculoskeletal conditions.”
The following can be cured through water-based exercises:
• Muscle stress/tears
• Back pain
• Excessive joint pain
• High blood pressure
Dr. Jayant Arora, Senior Consultant Orthopedics and Joint Replacement Surgeon, Columbia Asia Hospital said, “Hydrotherapy is the use of water in the treatment of different conditions, including arthritis and related rheumatic complaints. Hydrotherapy differs from swimming because it involves special exercises that you do in a warm-water pool. The water temperature is usually 33–36ºC. The warmth of the water allows your muscles to relax and eases the pain in your joints, helping you to exercise. The water supports your weight, which helps to relieve pain and increase the range of movement of your joints. The water can be used to provide resistance to moving your joints. By pushing your arms and legs against the water, you can also improve your muscle strength.
For postural problems and pain relief
As water exercise is not susceptible to gravity, it provides beneficial buoyancy that takes the pressure off the joints. Dr Mueller added, “Water exercise regime may relax muscles and allow rhythmic movements, which has positive effects on the postural muscles.”
Water pressure improves blood flow in the muscles and other soft tissues and also provides therapeutic resistance (viscosity) through gentle friction thus aiding in the fast recovery of an injury.
Be careful while exercising/Precautions to be taken
• Submerge body part which is being exercised
• Move the body part slowly and gently
• Begin and end with easy exercises
• Follow through a complete joint range of motion if possible but do not force movement. Stop if you experience any sudden or increased pain.
• Pain that lasts for more than one to two hours after exercise may indicate overuse. Cut back next time.
• Warm up on the land before getting into the water
• Stomach as to be empty of solid food and milk for a minimum of 4 hours.
The following are the health benefits of doing water-based exercises:
• It helps you burn the maximum amount of calorie after a session of exercise
• It mitigates the risk of injuries
• It helps you a breather in a regulated movement
• Respite from those sweaty exercise sessions during summers
Basic water exercises
Water jogging: Slow jogging in shallow water helps in loosening the lower back and hips.
Stretching: Simple stretching like slowly rising knees to the chest level, stretching the upper back is very useful in treating bone and muscle pains.
Partial squats: Hold the side of the pool with feet shoulders width apart and squat down until the water is at neck level.
Heel Raise: Raise heels off the ground rolling on to the balls of his feet.
Horizontal Fly: Keep elbows straight and bring hands together while holding onto plastic dumbbells or foam. Dumbbells need to be kept submerged just below the water line.
Knee bend: Slowly raise one foot up to strengthen his knee.
Leg swing: Stands with left side to the pool wall while holding the wall with left hand for balance. Knees should be kept straight.