Swimming provides a deep, intense exercise within a calming and soothing environment. It promotes physical functioning of individuals with cerebral palsy with the aid of water’s restorative and detoxifying properties. Basically, water buoyancy makes swimming safe and effective by allowing the patients to ambulate freely. Here are the 7 top benefits of swimming for people with cerebral palsy:
The viscosity of the water provides constant source of resistance. The stress of the movement is normally shifted away from the weight-bearing joints to the actual muscles; patients therefore receive the full benefits of deep, intense exercises in a comforting environment.
Reduces pain and tension in muscles and joints
The low impact aerobic conditioning exercise is easy on the back and specifically on the patient’s spine muscles. The water usually supports the body and this buoyancy aids relieve of stress on all muscles and joints. Well, with less gravity affecting the muscles and joints, swimming helps the spine and limbs expand, thus relieves painful pressure.
Improves muscular strength and tightening
Swimming builds lean and flexible muscles that are not only strong, but also long lasting. However, all that will depend on the swimming intensity. Patients achieve muscle tone simply through the act of moving through the water, where every stroke meets water resistance, no matter what speed. If you swim at a slow pace, you’ll be working mainly to strength your muscles, and when swimming faster, you will activate all three: muscle strength, cardio endurance, as well as muscle endurance.
Improves cardiovascular conditioning
When the body is submerged in water, the heart often pumps more blood rigorously. Basically, the pressure in water at rest due to the weight of the water above that point helps patients reduce swelling and blood pressure. This consequently improves their body awareness or proprioception.
Physical therapists highly recommend swimming to individuals with cerebral palsy. For years now, water has been known to help increase flexibility due to the many factors already mentioned, such as water resistance, buoyancy, and water temperature. So when swimming is accompanied by good stretching habits, patients can greatly improve flexibility and support range of movements. The smoothness in movements play an essential role of lengthening and stretching muscles rather than making them bulky, giving patients an appearance of being more toned, healthy and strong.
Alleviates stress and tension
Swimming is certainly the perfect way of relieving stress. It’s a very relaxing exercise when supervised by an expert and when done at a slow pace, gliding through the water. Nevertheless, it can be a real physical exercise done at a full speed, committing the front crawl. The focus you put into swimming helps you release the stress and tension, gaining great relief from plunging into the pool.
Protects against injury
Since you float in the water, the impact on the joints is reduced significantly. This means even individuals with injuries that would prevent them from performing the many land exercises will be able to enjoy swimming without experiencing any extra injuries.