Simply hearing the name “swim spa” might make you believe that the only thing they’re designed for is swimming. But just like there are many different activities that can take place in a full sized swimming pool, your swim spa offers several different exercise options as well. Can you walk in a swim spa? In actuality, it’s a very appropriate exercise not only for those who suffer from balance or joint issues, but for anyone looking to get their heart rate up and to burn some calories. In this article we’ll show how swim spa exercise is great for both the able bodied and those who suffer from debilitating chronic conditions.
Arthritis and Aquatic Exercise
Arthritis is a condition characterized by painful and swollen joints that affects more than 100 million people in North America alone. And while the joint pain may cause the sufferer to lead a more sedentary lifestyle, medical studies have shown that exercise can play an important role in alleviating its painful symptoms. For those who find dry land exercise to be too painful, aquatic exercise can be a positive alternative. The buoyant properties of water can relieve pressure on aching joints and bones while providing balance and stability for those who suffer from mobility and range of motion problems. Pain is reduced while the potential for injury from falling is greatly lowered. Reduced pain levels can also result in longer workouts to provide more physical benefits.
While it’s absolutely possible to use the current of the swim spa as a resistant force to walk or jog against, there are also specially made treadmills that make the exercise even more natural. These treadmills are ideal for those suffering from arthritis or other bone and joint issues which make dryland training an impossibility. The treadmill allows for a natural gait during walking and jogging while the water provides resistance, balance and a low impact environment for exercise.
Because it’s easy to adjust the water temperature in a swim spa, it’s possible to adjust the temperature to allow for greater flexibility. The muscles, tendons and joints are able to relax in warmer water allowing one to stretch further while experiencing less pain. If flexibility is an issue, exercising in a swim spa with an elevated temperature can help improve range of motion.
Building Muscle Mass
Walking or jogging in water, whether on a treadmill or simply against the current, combined with strength training has been found to be a more effective combination for building muscle mass than doing the same amount of walking or jogging on dry land. The water resistance has been found to challenge and strengthen the muscles at a faster rate than simple strength training alone.
Walking in warm water helps reduce pain by increasing the heart rate. This leads to increased circulation, blood vessel dilation and bathes the tissues in greater quantities of oxygen and nutrients. For those beleaguered by chronic pain caused by arthritis or other conditions, walking in the swim spa allows exercise to be performed while bringing down pain levels that often lead to inactivity in the first place.
Working out by walking in a swim spa can help improve the healing capacity of the body. Not only does exercise strengthen the immune system, it can help with the cellular processes responsible for tissue repair and healing. The combination of increased blood flow, higher oxygen levels and reduced pressure on the bones and joints helps the body’s repair mechanisms operate more efficiently.
To learn more about walking, jogging and other swim spa exercises, download a free buyer’s guide today.