Water therapy (also referred to Hydrotherapy) is a form of occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and alternative medicine. It entails water for treatment and pain relief. This program also helps to condition and strengthen muscles for flexibility in the joints.
Both accomplished and beginner marathoners benefit from water therapy. Whether you’re a first-time marathoner or a professional marathoner, include water in your workouts for physiological benefits.
You can use electric kettles to heat the water you’d like to use for therapy. What’s more, it offers the fastest way to heat water. Here are some of the benefits of water therapy to marathoners and how you can try added fitness.
7 Benefits of Water Therapy
Since water is denser than air, exercising in water means incorporating more effort than on land. This exercise helps you to strengthen and challenge your muscles in various ways. Besides, it can help you burn calories necessary for weight loss.
- Efficient and effective recovery – While it’s necessary to rest after extensive training, this doesn’t mean you should do nothing. Undertaking a less stressful and tedious body exercise, such as water therapy, can be more beneficial to marathoners.
- Increases muscle strength and mass – According to research done at the Texas University, hydrotherapy, combined with resistance training, increases muscle strength and mass more than land training.
- Increases mileage with no risk of injury – Underwater running is a great way to boost mileage with no chance of experiencing injuries associated with intensive aerobic training.
- Improves land-based running – Water therapy entails the use of muscles to push beyond the resisting water thrust. This provides additional power to run on land at ease.
- Great for Injuries – If you suffer from any injuries, you may have to take time off from your activities. However, to maintain any fitness gains and be active, water therapy may be a safe option.
- A total body workout-Water therapy aims to strengthen your core, arms, and legs.
- It is Heart-healthy- water therapy is an aerobic activity. This means they improve the pumping rate by your heart and ensure the vascular system works efficiently to supply blood to your muscles.
Performing any exercise for over 10 minutes engages your cardiovascular system. This helps improve your heart’s health.
However, before performing any exercise program, ensure you get clearance from your doctor. This is especially true if you have cardiovascular diseases or risky conditions such as type II diabetes and high blood pressure.
3 Tips on How to Effectively Perform Water Therapy
Water therapy exercises are necessary for the mind and body. To get the most out of it, follow these tips:
Watch your posture, stride, and angle.
Posture is a vital element in water as well as land. When running in water, ensure to keep your body in a vertical position at all times.
Keep your legs and arms pumping similar to the running motion on land, and remember not to lean your chest forward. Use a floating device to prevent you from sinking and to maintain an upright posture.
Keep it fun
Water therapy is not easy, meaning you may get tempted to quit. To keep you motivated and sane, try and make it fun.
Invite your friends to join you in the pool, playing your favorite music during a water therapy session. Turn it into a race and compete with your friends or neighborhood residents to find a winner.
Pay attention to your exertion rate
Water therapy may work against your expectations and increase your chances of experiencing an injury or muscle fatigue due to exertion of high effort. Take note of your perceived exertion rate to know whether to add or reduce your efforts. This refers to your general feeling of strength while performing an exercise or fitness activity.