Soak Up the Benefits: How Swimming and Aquatic Therapy Can Improve Your Health
Swimming is often thought of as a leisurely activity, something we do to cool off on a hot day or to have fun with friends and family. But what if I were to tell you that this simple pastime holds hidden depths of physical and mental benefits?
Regular swimming can improve cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, and flexibility, not to mention the meditative and stress-relieving effects it can have on our mental health.
At Lane Cove, we are fortunate to have a great selection of swimming pools and aquatic centres close by.
Where is the best Hydrotherapy pool in Sydney?
Lane Cove Physio’s hydrotherapy pool offers patients a unique opportunity to attend Aquatic Physiotherapy in a low risk, pain relieving environment on the Lower North Shore. The water in the pool is warm and heated to a comfortable and functional 34°C and perfect for any time of year.
Our hydrotherapy pool is located in our physiotherapy centre on the corner of Longueville Road and River Road West, 237 Longueville Road. There is easy off-street parking and a council car park opposite the centre on Longueville Road. Less able patients are able to use the driveway at the Centre.
Swimming is an efficient way to burn calories and has been linked to a decrease in early death due to cardiovascular disease.
Swimming is truly a whole-body workout and the various strokes focus on different muscle groups, adding variety to your swimming workout:
Swimming for fitness:
- Works to tone muscles
- Increases your heart rate without the same stress on your body
- Builds muscle strength
Can I take part in hydrotherapy if I can’t swim?
Don’t be scared to take the plunge and join Lane Cove Physiotherapy’s water exercise classes. Even if you don’t know how to swim, that’s okay!
You won’t need to put your head underwater but make sure you’re comfortable enough to let go of the pool edge and walk around in the pool on your own.
The pool has different depths for all abilities – 1m shallow end gradually deepening to 1.3m, as well as a deeper area at 1.6m, plus grab hand rails along the sides for additional safety.
If you need assistance with this, one-on-one sessions with a physiotherapist in a hydrotherapy pool may be more suitable for you until you gain more confidence in the water.
What are the benefits of swimming and exercising in water?
As a Sports Specialist physiotherapist with a background in hydrotherapy, I have seen firsthand the transformative power of swimming and aquatic therapy.
Watching my clients progress from struggling with pain and limited mobility to regaining strength and independence is truly rewarding.
Many clients come to mind who, when they first walked into my clinic, were in constant pain and struggling to perform even the simplest of tasks. I remember the hesitation in their eyes when they asked me about aquatic therapy, but I knew that with my guidance, they would experience a pain-changing journey.
We start with simple movements, such as floating on your back and gentle leg and arm movements, to build their confidence in the water. As their strength and mobility improved, we gradually increased the intensity of the exercises, allowing them to challenge themselves and reach their full potential.
The buoyancy of the water provides the perfect supportive environment to move, allowing you to focus on the targeted muscles without discomfort.
I also use resistance tools and water jets to provide a therapeutic massage, helping to relieve pain and improve range of motion.
Swimming and exercising in water offer a wide range of benefits for both physical and mental health
- Low-impact exercises: The buoyancy of water supports a large percentage of the bodyweight, reducing stress on weightbearing joints such as the back, hips, and knees. This makes it an ideal environment for low-impact exercises, making it a suitable form of rehabilitation for injuries and chronic conditions.
- Full-body workout: Swimming is a total body workout that can improve cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, and flexibility. The resistance provided by the water makes every movement more challenging, leading to better results.
- Hydrostatic pressure: The water provides a form of hydrostatic pressure that can help to improve circulation and reduce muscle soreness. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with conditions such as lymphedema.
- Pulmonary function: Swimming requires constant breathing in and out, which can help to improve lung capacity and endurance.
- Stress relief: Being in the water can be meditative and stress-relieving. It allows for a sense of weightlessness and freedom, which can be beneficial for individuals dealing with anxiety or depression.
- Physiotherapy Techniques: Aquatic therapy allows for a range of physiotherapy techniques to be used such as Watsu and Halliwick Method, which are beneficial in treating conditions such as spinal cord injury, stroke, and cerebral palsy.
It is truly an incredible feeling, to watch someone reclaim their life and regain their confidence. I am so grateful to be a part of this journey, to provide support and guidance to my clients on their road to recovery.
If you are suffering from pain or limited mobility, I want you to know that there is hope.
Aquatic therapy and hydrotherapy can help you reclaim your life and free you from pain.
Let’s take this journey together and watch as you experience the healing power of water.