It is no secret that the health industry is discovering the health benefits of swimming. More reports and success stories are published every year improving the information and understanding of these health benefits.
The theory of health benefits is no secret to people suffering from arthritis, or to major athletes. Both groups have found a reduction in pain and an increase in fitness levels and performance after serious aquatic therapy. In the past 10 years, public awareness has grown despite the fact that most of those benefits are not understood.
Arthritis Treatment and Recovery
Aquatic exercise is one of the main treatments for the 27 million people in the USA who suffer from arthritis.
“Having osteoarthritis patients walking against a systematically high and low resistance in water resulted in significant reduction in pain, improved mobility, balance and function,” said Eadric Bressel, professor and clinical research scientist at Utah State University. “This same kind of high-intensity interval training on land would be unfathomable because of the load-elicited pain.”
Relief From Mental Disorders and Disease
The increased use in the psychiatric field is expanding as the research and data are compiled each year. Apparently, the health benefits of swimming pool therapy go far beyond arthritis and sports performance. Recreational swimming is a great way to relieve stress and possibly the symptoms of depression according to Livestrong.com. The University of Valencia, in Spain, published a report in 2010 that offers evidence that competition swimming fosters psychological wellbeing, and enhances overall mental health.
The Heath and Wellness industry claims that three out of four senior citizens do not receive enough exercise to stay healthy. This is according to the American Family Physician. Swimming exercises the entire body without over-exerting the muscles and joints. For many seniors with heart disease, this may be the only exercise option that will not increase a strain on the heart.
Swimming is one of the top exercises that will increase bone density, which may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
The added benefit of this activity is that it also provides all age groups a buffer against life-threatening health concerns, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The CDC (cdc.gov) states that just 2.5 hours of swimming a week can decrease the risk of chronic illness. (U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services).
How it Works
Water is denser than our bodies. The more of your body that you immerse in water, the more hydrostatic pressure is created, which relieves the effect of gravity. In effect, you weigh less. This relieves the pressure on your joints thus allowing you to exercise without causing damage.
Water Density and Heart Health
The water’s density exerts hydrostatic pressure on the skin, pressing on the blood vessels. This increases blood flow to the heart, which in turn, allows the blood vessels to relax. When you are immersed in water, your heart doesn’t need to work as hard.
At the same time more blood is pumped to the heart. An added benefit is the improvement of oxygen to the blood.
These are only some of the new discoveries published from the medical world. There are many more.