Exercise on an Underwater Treadmill
Many patients who experience pain from osteoarthritis, muscle-skeletal injuries or neurological conditions benefit greatly from exercising on an underwater treadmill. In fact, studies show that walking on an aquatic treadmill increases strength faster than on dry land.
Waist-height water reduces your body weight by 50 percent and chest-height water creates about 75 percent less weight, reducing joint stress even further.
It’s easier on your joints
Water treadmills are ideal for conditioning, but also help in rehabilitating injuries and preventing future ones. Water is naturally a buoyant medium, offsetting up to 75 percent of your body weight so that your joints and muscles can work harder without stressing them. Injuries caused by impact and repetitive movement such as runner’s knee, Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis and iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) can be treated effectively using the underwater treadmill.
Patients with arthritic conditions can walk or run on the treadmill at their own pace, while building up strength and endurance in a warm, soothing environment. Even pets with arthritis in their legs and hips can enjoy the exercise, helping them maintain muscle mass, range of motion and overall mobility.
Many people with chronic health problems struggle to get enough regular exercise because of pain and discomfort associated with traditional methods. Exercising on a bike or elliptical machine can be difficult, and even walking on the land can put too much pressure on joints. The gentle support of an underwater treadmill can allow a patient who can’t walk for more than five minutes on a traditional treadmill to successfully complete thirty-minute sessions and discover that exercise isn’t all bad.
Some patients are fearful of the treadmill, but most respond well when introduced to it slowly. Treats placed on the ramp and tread or a frozen cup smeared with peanut butter can often motivate them to get into position for a workout. Jets on some underwater treadmills are available to increase the intensity of the exercise by creating turbulence, which helps in strengthening muscles and increasing cardiovascular endurance.
For those who suffer from joint or muscle pain, an underwater treadmill is a great option because it helps reduce the strain on your body. This is why you often see elite runners, triathletes, and even patients going through rehabilitation use this type of equipment. You can walk, jog, or even run on the machine. If you want to increase your endurance, the resistance of the water can help you achieve this as well.
It’s also a safer way to exercise because the chest-deep water reduces your body weight and reduces the impact underwater treadmill on your joints. This is why this type of equipment is so popular with people who are recovering from injuries or have arthritis. Even those who are in good shape can benefit from the underwater treadmill because it can boost your endurance and burn calories at the same time.
The heightened resistance of the water also improves cardiovascular stamina, which is why many doctors recommend it to their patients with chronic muscle or bone related problems. Even those who are unable to exercise on a traditional treadmill can enjoy the benefits of this unique equipment if it’s used properly by an experienced physical therapist.
It’s also important to note that most dogs love using this type of treadmill because they get to play with toys and treats while they walk on the machine. It’s also easy for them to get in and out of the water because it doesn’t require too much lifting.
It’s more challenging
If you’re looking for an exercise that can pump up your cardiovascular endurance and boost your overall strength without the painful shock of running on unforgiving ground, an underwater treadmill is just what you need. According to a TAMU study, athletes who supplement their on-land routine with underwater treadmills see greater improvements in lean body mass than those who perform only non-aquatic training.
Aside from the physical benefits, an underwater treadmill can be used to help diagnose a number of problems with gait and balance. The tempered glass on all four sides of the treadmill chamber allows therapists to view the dog’s gait from different angles. This can reveal an exaggerated gait pattern that would not be apparent when walking on land, and can indicate a weakness in one of the joints or limbs.
Additionally, the ability to increase turbulence with jets on some underwater treadmill models allows therapists to add resistance to their workouts. This increased exertion helps to boost cardiovascular endurance and stimulates the muscles in a more intense way. At our facility, we use jets with all patients who can walk on the underwater treadmill for 20 minutes or more. This includes athletes, geriatric patients who have become weak from inactivity, and those with unstable stifles or hip dysplasia.
In the case of Cooper, our injured stifle patient, we were able to decrease his pain and increase his underwater treadmill mobility by retraining his leg in an underwater treadmill. He was able to start using his leg again, and after only a few weeks, we noticed that the arthritis in his hips had lessened.
While it may sound bizarre, exercising on an underwater treadmill is fun. The machine is built to mimic traditional on-land running and walking, while providing an intense workout for your legs and core. It is a great option for athletes and people looking to lose weight. It works wonders for toning muscles and improving leg strength.
It is designed to provide a high level of resistance without stressing your joints, and it can be adjusted according to your specific needs. Its unique design allows you to run or walk at your own pace while increasing the difficulty as you get stronger and more comfortable. The increased turbulence created by the jets also increases your cardiovascular stamina, while helping you to burn more calories.
Whether you are recovering from injury or trying to boost your fitness, an underwater treadmill is a great way to add variety to your exercise routine and burn calories more efficiently. However, before you try running on an aquatic treadmill, you should consult with your doctor first to ensure that it is safe for you.
Many professional athletes, including elite distance runners like Galen Rupp, use the water to build up their mileage and recover from hard workouts. While it’s difficult to run on land when you are injured, the aquatic treadmill is a great alternative that can strengthen your muscles and help you heal faster.