01 February 2010

The "E" Word: EXERCISE

There!! I've said the word: exercise. I'm one of those people who likes to think I don't need exercise; that my body will be the exquisite work of art that I imagine it to be without raising a sweat and that I'll stay healthy and fit for all my life. I know the value of exercise but am not very enthusiastic about doing it. I recently found a web site (hydroworx.com) that has a water treadmill that looks like exercise and workouts would be more enjoyable to do in helping a person to recover from an injury and would help sufferers with some diseases. HydroWorx , located near Harrisburg, PA, started in 1987. The company is committed to helping patients and athletes improve their quality of life. Originally, underwater treadmills (developed by a horse trainer) were used as a piece of equipment to aid injured racehorses. Dr. Paul Hetrick wanted to use this form of treatment on people. He had to make significant improvements and one of the things he did was to add powerful jets and a movable floor system. The first system was installed at a rehabilitation center in Pennsylvania.

Aquatic therapy equipment such as the underwater treadmill provide a cardiovascular workout. The treadmill can be adjusted for speed and difficulty to increase heart rate above target zones. The underwater treadmill can increase from 0 to 5.5 mph. No additional equipment is needed for the swim spas which have over 200 speed settings. The adjustable jets give a consistent current and no turns are needed.

For people with debilitating diseases such as Parkinson's Disease and multiple sclerosis, water therapy is the ideal way to go using a swim spa. Patients have found an increase in their activity level and an increase in stamina and strength. Range of motion in joints and muscles can dramatically increase as well as helping to tone and relax muscles. Weight loss can also occur with aquatic exercise and workouts and patients with injuries can see rapid results. Scar tissues can also be greatly reduced.