3 Ways Hydrotherapy Pools Can Ease Your Aches And Pains
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Taking the waters, right at home? Hydrotherapy pools might be an answer to easing the wear-and-tear on the body as we age.
Yes, the pyramids were thrilling, and the Sphinx made me miss my cats. But my most memorable moment during a recent Egypt visit was the thalasso (Greek for “sea”) spa at the Westin Soma Bay Golf Resort & Spa in Hurghada overlooking Soma Bay on the Red Sea. After several days spent dutifully admiring hypostyle temples and hieroglyphics, this was a heavenly introduction to hydrotherapy. The 8,000-square foot seawater facility comprises several zones with water jets, currents and counter-currents, showers and bubbling baths, from the high-pressure shower drilling onto my scalp to geysers shooting up at the soles of my feet. It took a good two hours to traverse these Stations of the Cross for the Temple of the Body.
Until then, hydrotherapy had only dimly registered as the bigger cousin of my disused whirlpool bathtub. True, I had seen what home aquatics money can buy in 2013 when I was hired as script writer for the Sotheby’s International Realty YouTube video promoting a house listed at $5.9 million. The five-bedroom 10,215-square foot, Ray Murakami-designed Ye Olde English country inn-inspired manse, just east of the Bridle Path, was a Toronto Life Home of the Week.
The ground floor featured an exercise pool with three tiers of jets. The pool sits above the slate-tiled floor and measures 11 feet in diameter and 6.5 feet deep. French doors open to the boxwood garden; a dedicated air-handling system keeps chlorine smells from wafting around the house. And, if mobility is a concern, “It’s easy to transfer from a wheelchair and get down the steps inside the pool,” the owner explained.
1. Non-impact. To counteract water immersion’s anti-gravity effect, she would don a water vest “that gives you neutral buoyancy, so you can stand and jog without touching the bottom, and the exercise is completely non-impact. Half an hour of jogging in water is worth an hour on land from a cardiovascular point of view.”
Her words about the benign, non-impact aspect of aquafit exercise struck a note. I used to wind-sprint around the park two blocks from home, running fast enough to notice the metallic taste of blood at the back of my throat, a common, harmless symptom of the left ventricle not quite pumping quickly enough. I was shedding body fat for the first time in 30 years, but just as my six-pack was starting to emerge, I had to quit. Despite New Balance’s best running shoes and my avoidance of hard asphalt or concrete surfaces, the recurrent pounding on my knees and ankles made them hurt too much. I’m sure many of you can relate.
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