Benefits of pool walking for runners
Diversifying your training routine can bring a lot of additional benefits to your race times and your recovery processes.
In addition to gym-based core strengthening routines, consider scheduling a session or two in the pool each week. Pool walking is an underrated exercise that has a couple of huge benefits for runners.
Pool walking can offer twice the effect of compression garments
Compression garments work by increasing pressure on your limbs. The pressure aids lymphatic circulation, increases blood flow and can reduce improper movement of the muscles. Submerging your leg muscles underwater creates the same effect. Interestingly, pool walking can expose your calves to twice the pressure of standard compression garments, which can lead to more beneficial biological impacts. The deeper underwater your muscles are, the higher the pressure they are exposed to.
Pool walking can relieve an over-stimulated nervous system
Resting the body underwater can help to lower perceived pain levels, and can help calm irritations caused by an over-stimulated nervous system. It’s a technique commonly used in rehabilitation programs, as pain thresholds are greatly influenced by undertaking physical therapy in water. Runners can overstimulate the nervous system, particularly after a demanding race, so pool walking should be considered as a way to reduce it.
Pool walking can help improve oxygenation
We know that our muscles tear when they undergo a challenging workout. Recovery is helped by the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to the damaged tissue. Resting your muscles underwater doubles the resting blood flow to damaged muscles when compared to resting on land.
Pool walking offers many different benefits to runners. Some enjoy the calming effects, or the additional effort required to walk against the water itself. It’s great to know that pool walking can also offer additional recovery benefits like increased blood flow and lymphatic drainage. Schedule your next visit to the pool after you’ve done a tough gym workout or run and see if you can notice a difference in your recovery.
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Whilst Enertor has over 18 years Orthotics experience, our blog content is provided for informational purposes only and it is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical advice. Enertor advises anyone with an injury to seek their own medical advice – and do not make any health or medical related decisions based solely on information found on this site.