On the final day of competition at the Indianapolis 2018 World Para-Swimming World Series, Team USA tallied eight medals, including five gold, to finish the event with 26 medals overall. We couldn’t be more proud of these outstanding athletes who truly are one with the water. But the truth is, whether you are winning world championships or conquering backyard pools, aquatic therapy and exercise can have a profound impact on the mobility, strength, and freedom of adults and children with movement-affected disorders.
Take cerebral palsy for example. At a fundamental level, the buoyancy of the water reduces the effect of gravity and increases feelings of weightlessness. Without the full weight of gravity in effect, movement restricted individuals can utilize muscles and extend their joints in a way that isn’t possible on land. Additionally, the buoyancy allows for safe and effective performance of swimming exercises designed to ultimately improve their mobility and sense of freedom in and out of the water. In fact, one study saw improvement in as little as six weeks for individuals with cerebral palsy.
According to CerebralPalsy.org, here are a few more of the specific benefits of aquatic exercise and therapy for adults and children with cerebral palsy and other movement disorders:
• Provides resistance
• Encourages a wider range of movement and opposition
• Alleviates stress and tension
• Reduces pain and tension in muscles and joints
• Protects against injury
• Improves cardiovascular conditioning since the heart pumps more blood per beat when the body is submerged in water
• Decreases post-exercise discomfort
At One with the Water, we offer superior swimming lessons with a level 4 ASCA disability coach and adaptive athlete specialists. With sensitivity and compassion, we begin with a discovery assessment of each student. Then we use mechanical engineering strategies to analyze body mechanics and form an approach based on exercise physiology. Trust us to create the perfect mental and emotional learning environment for you or your athlete. Register now for premium swim lessons!
At One with the Water, we are committed to serving our community. If you or your child has experienced the freedom that being one with the water brings, consider donating to help us do the same. We offer need-based scholarships to high risk, high need individuals who couldn’t otherwise afford life-saving swim lessons. Donate today and be a hero in your community.
Molly is a member of our creative team, mom of four water-loving babies, and a fierce advocate for CPR training and really early swim instruction.