Maintaining an active lifestyle after an injury, surgery, or any other setbacks can be daunting. Getting back on track requires good balance of nutrition, rest, and exercise. The pool is the perfect place to discover some of the best post-injury exercises. Below are a few exercises and reasons to get in the pool the next time you’re recovering from an injury or need to de-stress:
With the right strokes and energy output, swimming laps can be an efficient, low-impact, full body workout. Swimming burns nearly as many calories per hour as running: A 200-pound person will burn approximately 1,074 calories per hour on a run, versus the 892 burned swimming for an hour. Injuries to the lower body make running difficult, if not harmful. The low-impact nature of swimming allows you to maintain your burn rate without exacerbating existing injuries.
Swimming laps strengthens and tones muscle all over your body. The water offers resistance to every movement, increasing the efficiency of your workout. Working out in the water increases endurance, circulation, and efficient respiration.
Any injury to the spine, pelvis, or legs will require recovery time; severe injuries will require full rehabilitation. Conditions such as arthritis improve with exercise, while making impact exercise painful or impossible. Walking in water gets around that by offering joint support, resistance, and mobility.
Walking in water rather than land has the benefits of being very low-impact, which takes the pressure off of weight-bearing joints and allows you to recover your coordination after an injury without risking re-injury. The joint support allows arthritic joints to move more easily, which allows you to gain greater range of motion.
Resistance and flexibility training
Taking your resistance and flexibility training into the pool allows you to achieve a greater range of motion as the buoyancy supports your joints. Re-training your body to move in normal ways after an injury is a difficult task, especially if movement is painful.
Working out in warm water relaxes muscles and soothes joints, which allows you to move your body and get the blood flowing without causing yourself unnecessary pain.
Muscles are quick to relax in water, which gives you a deeper stretch. The water resistance and buoyancy reduces the speed at which you can lower into a stretch, while simultaneously lessening the risk of injury during weight-bearing stretches.
Find your serenity
Going through a change in body puts stress on your mind. Water is inherently soothing and spending time in the water can be a meditative experience if you allow it to be. Focus on how the water makes you feel. Appreciate the beauty of it. Find your center, and allow the stress to roll away.