Aqua Ther­apy

Tak­ing the wa­ters, right at home? Ac­cord­ing to David Lasker, hy­drother­apy pools might be an an­swer to eas­ing pain and wear-and-tear on the body as we age

ZOOMER Magazine - - FITNESS -

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 Mu­rakamidesigned 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 slatetiled 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. 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, non­im­pact 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. And it can be af­ford­able So I was all ears when Cyn­thia Hen­der­son, reg­is­tered in­te­rior de­signer, in­tern ar­chi­tect and prin­ci­pal at ag­ing-in­place spe­cial­ists Cul­ver and Hen­der­son Build­ing De­sign, said, “Let’s talk about pools and how lit­tle you can get away with.” Her firm’s pools have ap­peared in Cana­dian House and Home; Chate­laine; and Schif­fer Pub­lish­ing’s Hot Tubs & Spas: An In­spi­ra­tional De­sign Guide.

She’s bran­dish­ing pho­tos of a client’s out­door dip pool, 10 feet long, 10 feet wide and five feet deep, in­stalled by Gib-San Pools, where the back gar­den serves as a spa and sanctuary. “We put two jets in that you can’t swim up to, they’re that strong; you’re get­ting a work­out.” An­other project is a 14 feet long x 10 feet wide in­door pool. “You can get the kit for $15,000.” (The out­door con­crete pool costs about $25,000 plus land­scap­ing.) Small jets along the perime­ter re­vi­tal­ize, sooth and re­lieve pain. “Water that’s mov­ing stim­u­lates the touch re­cep­tors on the skin, in­creas­ing blood cir­cu­la­tion and releasing tight mus­cles. As the water gen­tly kneads your body, it feels like a mas­sage.” Multi-gen ap­peal A kit pool like the one de­scribed above fea­tures clean, min­i­mal­ist lines that ben­e­fit from the lack of the cus­tom­ary rain­bow shower head atop a tall col­umn hous­ing the water con­duit. In its place, Hen­der­son rec­om­mends a res­i­den­tial splash pad like the ones that keep chil­dren laugh­ing and ca­vort­ing at pub­lic pools, where the water spray shoots up from be­low like a Whack-a-mole. “You just walk on it,” she says. “They go quite high, up to five feet. You’ll cool off.”

Why should kids have all the fun? Go ahead – jump in.

A view of the Red Sea at the re­sort town of Hurghada, Egypt

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.