The beneficial influence of water on the human body has been known since ancient times. Water as a therapeutic agent has a very wide application whereas a therapeutic effect of water is based on physical characteristics, thermal and mechanical effects.
For the field of therapeutic gymnastics, the mechanical action of water has a special significance. Primarily it is manifested through hydrothermal activity in the form of thrust force and water resistance. Cold water increases the excitability of skeletal muscles and reduces their fatigue. After a short procedure with cold water the general tone is increased while a feeling of freshness, vivacity and strength is achieved. Swimming is one of the natural forms of movement with a very powerful positive impact on the body, especially in the developing organism. Moreover, swimming can achieve significant preventive and corrective therapeutic effects. Due to the apparent loss of weight in water while having the possibility of relaxation or mastering a different resistance as well as of the beneficial effects of the environment, swimming provides unlimited possibilities to improve poor health. The particular effects are obtained in people with weakened muscle
tone, both during reconvalescence after certain diseases, and particularly in the condition with weakened muscle function (paresis and paralysis).
Depending on swimming technique it leads to greater involvement of certain muscles. Swimming improves lung function and also increases the activity of intercostal muscles. Furthermore, it improves mechanics of the chest as a whole, and it can be used in the prevention and remedial purposes of the deformity of the thorax. In addition, swimming significantly stimulates the activity of other vital systems, especially the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
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