The General Benefits
The benefits of training in water has been long recognised. Water supports the body and allows you to exercise without straining sore muscles or worsening injuries. Many coaches and physiotherapists regularly recommend water training to help rehabilitate an injury.
Water-based training is an excellent form of exercise for anyone. An intense workout can be designed that will not lead to muscle soreness or injury, and that can be enjoyed by swimmers and non-swimmers.
Working out in water has many benefits. A person standing in chest deep water only has to support 15% of their normal weight- the water supports the rest. This reduction means that that saved energy can be used to workout harder without causing excessive wear and tear on the joints, ligaments, tendons or muscles. Working out in water encourages suppleness and flexibility throughout the body and reduces the risk of joint, ligament or tendon damage.
The density of the water has a number of other benefits; all the muscles have to work against the water, in every direction. This gives an even level of training to all the muscles, not just one or two major load-bearing muscle groups like land exercise does. The harder you work against the water the more resistance the water offers. This makes you work your muscles in every possible direction, contracting and relaxing, as well as keeping the stress on joints and ligaments to a minimum. The water density also means that a short 30 minute session gives similar benefits to 1.5 to 2 hours of land based exercise. The water also forces the body to slow down, encouraging correct posture and form during all the exercises.
Water Therapy for Stroke Survivors
After a stroke you may find yourself fighting all sorts of battles to try and regain the quality of life you had before. Water Therapy can help with things like; Decreased strength, a compromised cardio-vascular system, limited mobility, poor balance, reduced muscle control, or pain in the muscles.
Consider; on land you may struggle to stand up, walk, shift your weight from one foot to the other, even to sit upright. In the water you will soon find that you can stand upright with steadiness, walk without fear of falling and therefore exercise and strengthen your body comfortably and without pain. Many stroke survivors who struggle to walk on dry land can re-learn to walk in the water with relative ease.
Even if you don’t exercise at all, just being semi-submerged in warm water will lower your blood pressure, ease aches and pains and raise your spirits.
Water achieves this because it is much denser than air. A person submerged up to their shoulders in water is more buoyant and will feel 80% to 90% lighter than they really are. So a 10 stone person would feel as though they only weigh 1 or 2 stone. This makes movement seem much easier and vastly reduces the pressure on your joints. Not only does movement seem easier, in the water you will also find you have more control over your muscles. The constant pressure of the water on every part of your body provides a form of bio-feedback, (i.e. you can feel when you move your hand through the water where you might not be able to sense the same movement in the air).
The water pressure also helps you to stand upright by supporting your weight and gently pressing on you from all sides to help you to stand tall. Many of the exercises are designed to improve your balance, strength and muscle control. As these skills improve in the water, they will on land too.
Your buoyancy in the water will allows greater range of movement than exercising on dry land and your flexibility will improve. While it supports you, the water also resists your movements and makes your muscles work harder even as it soothes you. After your session is over you should feel refreshed not exhausted.
The Water School is an ideal pool for water therapy. The water is 30C and the air temperature in the pool hall and changing areas is about 28C. This extra warmth combined with friendly helpful staff, plenty of natural light and gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside make for a comfortable and relaxing experience. The changing rooms, poolside and toilets are all wheelchair accessible and although we don’t have a hoist, there are easy access steps going down into the shallow end of the pool.
We have all kinds of equipment to use in the pool from weights and floats to dumbbells and toys and we play relaxing music during our therapy sessions (if you have a favourite piece of relaxing music please bring it along and we will play it for you).
We aim to provide an excellent service to people of all swimming abilities. If you find the thought of being in the water terrifying you wont be the first and we have tried and tested ways to gently improve your confidence. On the other hand, if you enjoyed swimming before suffering a stroke and would like to try it again we can arrange 1:1 tuition and teach you adaptive techniques and water safety tips to help you enjoy swimming safely again.
For more information or to book a class contact us or call 027 66134.