Aquatic treadmill for exercise in the elderly
Aquatic treadmill or underwater treadmill exercise is gaining popularity as a means of exercise training in persons with osteoarthritis who cannot exercise on a land treadmill. Water jets opposite to the direction of walking can be used to achieve high ratings of perceived exertion in aquatic treadmill. Water currents in the direction of walking can also support higher speeds if needed, for a morale boost, in those with lower exercise capacity. The advantage of underwater treadmill is that there is no joint impact due to the body weight as occurs with land treadmill.
Both motorised and non motorised versions of aquatic treadmills are available as in case of land treadmills. The non motorised versions being obviously cheaper because there is no need for costly underwater durable motors. Aquatic treadmills can be portable or custom made and fixed in a pool.
Aquatic treadmill is very useful for senior citizens avoid the risk of falls and musculoskeletal stress of land treadmill exercise. Regular exercise can improve lean body mass and overall physical fitness in the elderly. It is also useful for obese individuals and those with issues of mobility. Underwater treadmill is useful in those recovering from stroke as they often have poor balance or cannot support their weight.