Aquatic therapy, also known as aqua therapy or hydrotherapy, is a physical activity performed in water for therapeutic benefit. This can be extremely useful for individuals undergoing rehabilitation or recovery from injury and is also popular among patients with neurologic or musculoskeletal conditions. When you consider the wealth of health benefits that aquatic therapy brings, it’s no wonder that this form of therapy has been employed for thousands of years.
Acts as a Low-Impact Form of Exercise
Exercise and any sort of physical therapy, in general, is far less painful in water, especially warm water, compared to engaging in the same activity on land. The buoyancy that the water provides counteracts gravity, which helps us to feel like we’re floating. Hence, swimming and other forms of aquatic therapy are a great way to accomplish an aerobic workout without hurting your joints. Water is a low-impact, low-weight bearing environment that helps to minimize stress on your joints.
Lowers Your Risk of Fall Injury
Fall injury is one of the most concerning issues that the elderly have to face, with older adults experiencing the highest risk of serious injury caused by a fall. Falls are so dangerous for the elderly because of a combination of pre-existing medical conditions and age-associated frailty. Despite how dangerous falls are, they’re painfully common as well. Thankfully, aquatic therapy is a great way to combat this risk as engaging in water-based activities is a great way to train mobility and balance.
Helps You Cope with Osteoporosis
Unfortunately, once you’ve passed 50 years old, your body tends to start losing bone density. This is especially true for postmenopausal women, who tend to have smaller and less dense bones as compared to their male counterparts. However, regardless of your gender, anyone over the age of 50 tends to become more likely to develop osteoporosis. Thus, it’s no surprise that osteoporosis affects a large demographic of older adults in America. Thankfully, despite the limitations that osteoporosis may bring, aquatic therapy is still safe for most to engage in, being a great alternative form of exercise for patients with osteoporosis who have trouble exercising on land.
Effective for Weight Loss
Obesity is another widespread problem among older adults in the states, which can contribute to a range of problematic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers. Surprisingly, aquatic therapy is greatly effective for weight loss, because of how much more efficiently you can burn calories in water compared to on land. For example, walking in water can burn up to 3.5 times the amount of calories burnt on land.
Having Fun While Exercising
Most importantly, having fun makes exercising much more approachable for anyone. Whether you’ve been working out long before your golden years, or you’re planning on starting your fitness journey soon, aquatic therapy is a great option to consider. Engaging in enjoyable forms of exercise makes for better motivation, which helps you to stick to your workout regime for longer.
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