The Many Health Benefits Of Aquatic Exercise

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Aquatic Exercise

Have you ever heard of the aquatic ape theory? This provocative, but also strangely possible concept goes a few steps further than Darwin’s original ideas to hypothesize that at one point in early human evolution, we very nearly became marine mammals! It is thought that due to the dangerous climate change events of this earlier period, we were driven from the savannah by raging wildfires to the seashores where we switched out our grassland hunter-gatherer lifestyle to become foragers of the abundant food source of the ocean’s waters provided! It explains a variety of uniquely human features, such as why we stand upright unlike our first cousins the great apes- the reason being we were wading up to our necks to get as deep as we could before diving after shellfish and sea vegetables. We also have a diving reflex that helps us stay underwater longer by slowing our heartbeats when submerged, and our bodies are mostly hairless, with physical features found in marine mammals like seals and dolphins, and not in apes! Some posit that the famed diving women of Japan and Korea are a living reminder of this ancient aquatic lifestyle!

Human Adaptation to Aquatic Environments

Whether we take the theory as fact or not, it is plain that humans are well adapted to aquatic environments, and take to them naturally. We are drawn to the seas, rivers, and lakes, and are quite at home in them, unlike most other terrestrial mammals. We love being in the water so much that we have made a pastime of it, with swimming events and scuba diving being among the most popular of all the sports we partake in. This is really good for us because the water is a very healthy place to be, so much so that we have developed specialized Aquatic Performance Training that can help us become far fitter faster than any land-based equivalent form of exercise! This fun and effective course of physical fitness involves the use of exercise equipment specially designed and adapted to the underwater environment like bicycles, treadmills, and strength training equipment that uses the natural resistance of the water to get the most out of your movements while protecting your muscles from too much strain by using the water’s buoyancy as a cushion. It’s a fantastic way to get in shape!

Increasing Popularity Among Seniors

Aquatic exercises like these are becoming increasingly popular, especially among seniors and people whose movements on the ground are physically restricted by illness or other health conditions. The exercises are performed in water at various depths, all of which offer many physical benefits. Buoyancy, one of water’s most important properties, benefits the person engaged in aquatic exercise by supporting a portion of their body weight and making it impossible for them to suffer a harmful fall!

Physical Benefits of Aquatic Exercise

The simple act of being immersed in the water allows people to perform exercises that would be difficult, or even impossible for them to accomplish on the land. The natural buoyancy water provides makes it easier to move safely and greatly improves your flexibility since it’s easy to fully extend muscles supported by the water. Water also provides useful resistance to your movements which strengthens and tones muscles much in the way that lifting weights does. One of the best features of exercising in the water is that since it supports most of your body weight, the load placed on joints is greatly reduced, a real boon for seniors. This is also an excellent way for a person to be able to exercise soon after an injury or surgery that would be possible or safe on the land!

Effective for Managing Health Conditions

Performing aquatic flexibility and strengthening exercises are proving incredibly effective for managing and recovering from a wide variety of debilitating physical conditions and illnesses. Taking part in regular physical activity has been proven to benefit your physical, mental, and social health, as well as preventing and improving a variety of chronic conditions like obesity, heart disease, depression, diabetes, and the general weakness people suffer from after undergoing cancer treatments- doing your exercises in the water makes them all even more safe and effective!

Aquatic exercises can greatly improve our:

  • Balance
  • Walking
  • Agility
  • Flexibility
  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Strength
  • Endurance

In addition to these wonderful boons to our overall physical health and well-being, aquatic exercise can make major differences in the mobility, health, mood, and general quality of life of people who suffer from the diseases and conditions listed below:

  • Weakness
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Balance Issues
  • Back Pain
  • Joint Replacements
  • Stroke
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Joint and Muscle Pain
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Conclusion

So, as we can see, water is a good friend to the human race, we were born to enjoy its healing powers, to take sustenance from it, and to simply have a great time splashing around in it! Now go get wet, it’s good for you!