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Physical exercise, combined with a balanced and nutritious diet, is vital for anyone hoping to lose weight and maintain good physical and mental health. For many people the go-to solution is walking, running or other forms of dry-land exercise. But not everyone enjoys those methods, and the social anxiety of group exercise may discourage others. If that describes you, then aquatic exercise in the privacy of your own home may be a great fit as a supplement to your workout routine, or as your primary form of exercise. But it requires decisive action.
According to Gallup's annual Health and Healthcare survey, over half of Americans say they want to lose weight, but only 27% of women and 22% of men do anything to achieve it. Understandably, a variety of factors are involved—not the least of which is time. The hectic nature of modern life, the daily stress of work and family, the prospect of grocery shopping and preparing fresh meals after a long day… It’s not hard to see the appeal of fast-food restaurants or eating out. But over time, the consequences of a diet high in fat, sugar and salt start to take a toll, leaving you more lethargic, more susceptible to depression and even less motivated. Inevitably, it reaches a tipping point where the personal costs become too expensive. Sound familiar?
Negative self-esteem, reduced libido, a weakened immune system, reduced work performance, diabetes, pre-hypertension, high blood pressure and mounting medical bills – all are warning signs to heed. Fortunately, the sooner you make changes, the sooner you can start to feel better and improve your quality of life. (You may even add years to your lifespan!) The key is finding your motivation and giving yourself a reason get after it, without feeling like you have to punish your body. Actually, aquatic exercise feels really good, and it allows you to ease into your fitness routine without becoming overwhelmed. Then, as your stamina improves, your aquatic routine can grow with you and become as challenging as you want it to be.
It is not hard to find evidence in support of aquatic fitness. A range of studies across various disciplines span the decades and the globe. For example, the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation recently published a study focused on two groups of women aged between 40 and 60. Over the course of 12 weeks, one group engaged in aquatic exercise for 60 minutes three times per week, while the other group did not. After 12 weeks, researchers compared the two groups of women based on a variety of measurements, including:
The study found that “a statistically significant difference was shown” between the two groups of women. For example, “The swimming group increased significantly in terms of flexibility and cardiovascular endurance.” Those in the non-swimming group showed a nearly 3% increase in body fat, while the women in the swimming group showed a nearly 3% decrease in body fat. In other words, swimming to burn fat is effective.
The heated water and hydromassage benefits of a swim spa go above and beyond a traditional swimming pool. For example, soaking in heated water naturally increases the heart rate, mimicking the effects of mild aerobic exercise. As blood vessels dilate, the heart pumps more efficiently, lowering blood pressure and helping to circulate oxygen and remove toxins. The combination of heat and increased circulation warms the muscles and joints, making it less painful to exercise and easier to recover after working out.
Hydrostatic pressure, caused by immersion in heated water, acts like a compression suit surrounding the body. This encourages fluids that have accumulated in the body’s extremities to recirculate. In addition, according to a 2008 study involving mice, warm water immersion activates “heat shock proteins.” These molecules protect cells from heat, cold and low blood sugar. A byproduct of this 'protective process' blocks the inflammatory response, improves insulin function and protects against glucose intolerance caused by obesity. This may prove beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.
Hydromassage, or water massage, is another unique swim spa feature offering various cardiovascular benefits. For example, a study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine looked at the blood pressure benefits of massage on 25 pre-hypertensive women. (Pre-hypertension is an early warning sign of high blood pressure.) Each woman received a 10- to 15-minute massage, three times a week for 10 sessions. Their blood pressure was compared to a group of 25 different women who experienced the same relaxing environment, but without massage. Researchers found that the average “blood pressure in the massage group was significantly lower in comparison with the [non-massage] group.” Even more impressive, after 72 hours the massage group still had “a significant difference” in lower blood pressure compared to the non-massage group.
For most people, the prospect of shopping for a swim spa, having it financed, and preparing for installation is unfamiliar territory. Searching online reveals a flood of less-than-perfect products, many of which are made overseas. Aquatic Training Vessels™, on the other hand, are made in the USA and are highly-rated by verified customers. Whether you are just beginning to plan your swim area or are ready to narrow down your search, your local ATV Dealer is the best resource for you. From addressing your questions and concerns, to advising you on technical considerations, to comparing options and accessories, to getting pricing and securing financing, they can help you from start to finish. Use our Dealer Locator to get started.