The Therapeutic Power of
Water for Parkinson’s

By: Karen Charles
Courtesy of Aquatic Academy

At the beginning

If you or a loved one have had a Parkinson’s diagnosis, then finding the right exercise regime is crucial for helping you cope in the months and years ahead. At the last estimate (2020) there were around 145,000 people in the UK living with Parkinson’s, and one in 37 people alive today in the UK will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s in their lifetime. It is the second most common neurological disorder, but with more than 40 symptoms Parkinson’s will affect everyone differently, and not everyone will experience all the symptoms.

Parkinson’s is a neurological disorder that affect millions of people worldwide causing, a range of motor and non-motor symptoms that impact daily life. While there is no cure for Parkinson’s, there are various approaches that can help manage its symptoms and improve quality of life. One such approach gaining traction is aquatic exercise – a unique and effective way for individuals with Parkinson’s to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing. In this article, we delve into the benefits of exercising in water for people living with Parkinson’s.

The Science Behind Water Based Exercise: Exercising in water offers a multitude of advantages for individuals living with Parkinson’s. The buoyancy of water reduces the effects of gravity, which can alleviate joint stress and make movement easier. The hydrostatic pressure of water also provides resistance that engages muscles without putting excessive strain on the joints. This is particularly beneficial for people living with Parkinson’s, as muscle rigidity and stiffness are common symptoms of the disease. Water’s natural resistance helps improve muscle strength, flexibility and balance.

Enhanced Motor Skills: People living with Parkinson’s often struggle in maintaining coordination and balance. Aquatic exercise can aid in enhancing motor skills as the water’s support allows individuals to practice movements that might be challenging on land. Activities such as walking, jogging and even gentle stretching in water can help regain a sense of control over their bodies and improve coordination.

Cardiovascular Health and Mood Boost: Engaging in cardiovascular exercises, even in water, contributes to improved heart health and blood circulation. Swimming or water aerobics can increase heart rate and stimulate cardiovascular endurance. Furthermore, water-based exercise has been linked to mental health benefits, including reduced anxiety and depression. Regular aquatic workouts can help by managing the mood fluctuations often associated with Parkinson’s.

Neuroplasticity and Brain Stimulation: Exercising in water can contribute to the concept of neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to reorganize and adapt. The challenging environment of water forces the brain to coordinate movements in a new way, potentially encouraging the brain to form new neural connections. This can be particularly relevant for people living with Parkinson’s, as these exercises might stimulate the brain to compensate for the loss of dopamine-producing cells.

Social Interaction and Community Support: Participating in aquatic exercise classes provides an opportunity for Parkinson’s patients to engage in social activities and connect with others facing similar challenges. The sense of community and support can greatly impact emotional well-being and motivate individuals to stick to their exercise routine.

Conclusion: Exercising in water presents a promising avenue for managing Parkinson’s symptoms and improving overall quality of life. The unique properties of water, including buoyancy, resistance, and its impact on the brain, make it an ideal medium for people with Parkinson’s to engage in safe and effective physical activity. As always, it’s essential for individuals to consult their healthcare professionals before starting any new exercise regimen. Embracing the therapeutic power of water can be a step towards a more active, healthier, and fulfilling life for those living with Parkinson’s disease.

You can also find more help and support for living with Parkinson’s from the following organisations:

NHS

Parkinson’s Foundation

Parkinsons.org.uk

Parkinsonscare.org.uk

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Why Drag Force is More Than
Just Resistance

By: Ryan Nicoll
Courtesy of DSA OCEAN

It’s tough to beat Nature. You don’t have to look in a top secret lab to find one of the most miraculously slippery fluids on the planet. You can just look at your knee! Lining many of your joints is an egg-white coloured substance called Synovial Fluid. Among its many purposes is to keep your joints moving. But not just for a few days – for your entire life. And through all this time, it manages to control and minimize joint resistance.

Certainly, when resistance gets out of control, everything can come to a grinding halt. When it comes to hydrodynamics, when you think of resistance, drag forces may be the first thing that comes to mind. But there’s more to drag than just resistance, and this is what we’re going to cover in this article.

What is the drag force?

Forces appear when there are changes in momentum. Momentum means mass in motion, so for the specific case of fluids, this could mean water or air flowing in a current. The drag force arises when there is a change in momentum in fluids. More specifically, the drag force transfers momentum between a structure and a fluid it is immersed in. This might sound like an abstract idea, but you already have some experience with it every day.

You feel this effect when your hand is in water

A big part of this is the drag force. But if you are in a pool or bathtub, the water isn’t moving around – it’s your hand – and so the drag force in this case will feel like resistance to you. In this case, it’s your hand that has momentum: it is the mass in motion. The drag force is then transferring momentum from your hand into the water.

You can feel drag when moving your hand around in water

What does momentum look like in water?

Well, if it’s your bathtub, there will be swirling and churning water – turbulence, and probably some waves. All this moving water is mass in motion, too. But the drag force does work in reverse, too – it can transfer momentum from water into structures.

What happens when there are ocean waves or currents in the water?

Ocean waves and water currents are also examples of mass in motion, too. If a structure, like a mooring buoy or ship gets in the way of moving water, there’s going to be some drag forces. These forces will transfer momentum from the waves and currents into the structure. So in this way, drag force is really about the exchange and transfer of momentum.

Sometimes this means it creates resistance and slows down a structure. But it can create motion in floating structures, too. The key is that drag is proportional to the relative velocity between a structure and the fluid.

The drag force is one of the essential forces in hydrodynamics

It acts like a resisting effect on many structures. If you are trying to understand what will happen to an ocean robot driving around in the water, it will have a big impact on energy consumption as well as how it can maneuver.

But the drag force is also a key element in mooring designs. In oceanographic mooring designs, the aggregate drag on all the components and the mooring line causes the system to deflect in an ocean current. In reality, the water current loses some momentum from this drag force from the mooring – the wake from the float and mooring components reduces the ocean current flow speed by some small amount.

In an ocean current with speed U, the drag force from all mooring components causes deflection.

Drag is also a key element in the excitation forces when ocean waves are around. You need to know these excitation forces to properly design a system to perform the way you want in the ocean environment. But knowing drag forces is one thing. Knowing how big they are is really the million-dollar question.

How do we know what the actual drag force is?

The drag force is measured from an experiment. These experiments might be a physical test in a lab, or in more modern times, they might be virtual tests using fluid dynamics software. These experiments resolve what the drag forces are in certain specific conditions. There have been hundreds of thousands of tests completed in laboratories for many decades measuring the drag force on a vast array of shapes in different flow speeds and fluid mediums. But how do we take all this information on drag force and then use it in a specific application?

The key is the drag coefficient

Similar shapes produce similar and predictable drag forces. The concept of a drag coefficient works well and covers a wide range of fluid types and conditions. Ultimately, if you’re looking at something like a sphere, you can use a drag coefficient associated with a sphere and predict reasonably well what the drag forces will be for a good range of wind or water current speeds. These drag coefficients are often available in look up tables to help the design process.

But what about the drag on mooring lines?

A mooring line is indeed a much more complicated structure than a sphere. Depending on its orientation to the flow, the local drag can change drastically. The drag forces on mooring lines require a calculation that considers the local flow speed and tilt of the line of the whole system. Suffice to say, it’s not a back-of-the-envelope type calculation you can do like that of the drag on a sphere! But this is what we have programs like ProteusDS Oceanographic that help address these complexities.

It’s summary time

The drag force is an effect that arises when momentum transfers between a fluid and a structure. Yes, a structure will feel resistance when it’s moving in a fluid, but the reverse is true, too: a moving fluid, like ocean currents and waves, can also cause a structure to move around, too – and the drag force plays a big role in that. The drag force is a very important effect that affects a range of systems from vehicle dynamics to oceanographic mooring design.

Even super low friction fluids like those in your knee joints have some drag effects, too. While you don’t need to do much over your life to keep your knee joints going, you do need to be mindful of drag when designing structures in the ocean.

Next step

Figuring out a drag coefficient for a particular structure isn’t always obvious. While ProtesuDS Oceanographic includes drag coefficients for a variety of shapes, you can learn more about different ways to resolve drag coefficients here.

15 Weird Facts About Swimming

Courtesy of Natare

1. Freedivers can hold their breath for more than 10 minutes.

Most people can only hold their breath for a few seconds. However, people with proper training can hang on for at least two minutes. Then you have freedivers, who can hold their breath for up to 10 minutes (or more).

The world record for breath-holding is 24 minutes and 3 seconds, which is currently held by Spanish freediver Aleix Segura Vendrell.

2. There is enough water in Olympic-sized pools to take 9400 baths.

Olympic pools hold 660,000 gallons of water, where bathtubs can only hold 70 gallons. That’s a lot of baths.

3. Swimmers can flex their toes to the ground.

In order for swimmers to propel their bodies through the water, they must have good flexibility in their feet and ankles, which is why you see a lot of pointed toes in swimming competitions. This allows a smooth surface to be created for water to rush by, reducing drag.

4. The odds of swimming in the Olympics are very slim.

On average nearly 2000 swimmers make it to the Olympic trials. Out of that number, only 50 of them will actually make the Olympic swim team.

5. The oldest stroke is the breaststroke.

Swimming dates back to 2500BCE and can be seen in ancient Egyptian drawings. The breaststroke goes back to the Stone Ages, but it wasn’t until 1904 when it was swam competitively at the Olympics.

6. Swimmers sweat in the pool.

Based on an Australian study, it was found that on average swimmers lost about 125ml of sweat for every kilometer ran. However, you more than likely won’t be aware of it because you’re in the water.

7. Most of the United States’ population cannot swim.

A 2014 survey taken by the American Red Cross revealed that more than half of Americans cannot swim. Fifty-six percent of Americans can perform five basic swimming skills; 33% of African Americans reported knowing the five core swimming skills; and men are more likely to report they know the five basic swimming skills than women are.

8. 10 years old: The youngest age ever recorded for an international competitive swimmer.

In 2015, then 10-year-old Bahrainian Alzain Tareq became the world’s youngest competitive swimmer in a world championship. Competing against others twice her age, she finished her 50-meter butterfly meet in 41.13 seconds.

9. The first swimming goggles were made from tortoise shells.

The first recorded version of swimming goggles was during the 14th century in Persia. It wasn’t until the 1930s when rubber goggles were created.

10. Women weren’t allowed to compete in Olympics until 1912.

Swimming became an Olympic sport in 1908, but women were not allowed to participate until 1912. Australian swimmer, Fanny Durack, became the first woman to win a gold medal in the 100-yard freestyle in the same year.

11. Adriatic was the first cruise ship to have an indoor swimming pool.

Titanic’s sister ship was not only the first ocean liner to have an indoor swimming pool, but she was also the fastest of “The Big Four.”

12. Some open water swimmers poop in the water.

It’s true. Some open swimmers have had to poop during their swimming quest. However, the actual number of swimmers who do poop in the water is unknown because everyone refuses to admit it.

13. Shaving isn’t just for removing hair.

Shaving is a common theme among swimmers, as it helps increase performance. Studies suggest that shaving makes the skin more sensitive in the water. This allows swimmers to “feel the water” better so they can make adjustments to their technique.

14. Children can take swim lessons as early as two months.

Parents begin swim lessons with kids as early as two months. In 2009, drowning risks reduced by 88% when children between the ages of one and four participated in formal swimming lessons.

15. Swimmers use every major muscle in their bodies.

Some people question whether swimming is a real sport; but did you know it’s one of the most intense sports out there? The reason is because swimming is a full body exercise. You name the muscle, swimming probably uses it.

How Social Live Affects Bone Health

Courtesy of Recreonics

CORRECT SWIMMING POOL WATER CHEMISTRY STARTS WITH BALANCING SEVEN PRINCIPAL FACTORS: TOTAL ALKALINITY, PH, CALCIUM HARDNESS, FREE AVAILABLE CHLORINE, COMBINED AVAILABLE CHLORINE, TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS AND TEMPERATURE

ComponentDescriptionProper Range
Total AlkalinityWithout a proper balance of total alkalinity wild fluctuations in pH may occur. Total alkalinity is raised by adding sodium bicarbonate and lowered by adding sodium bisulfate or muriatic acid.100 – 150 parts per million or ppm
pHWhen pH is not balanced your bathers experience discomfort and chlorine is rendered useless. It also helps to deteriorate equipment and shorten its life span. Water pH is raised by adding soda ash or caustic soda and lowered by adding sodium bisulfate or muriatic acid.7.2 – 7.6
Calcium HardnessWithout a proper balance in calcium hardness calcium is leached from pool surfaces or deposited on equipment. Calcium hardness is raised by adding calcium chloride.200 – 400 ppm
Free Available ChlorineWhen any chlorine compound is added to the water, the percentage of its strength depends the pH level. At a pH of 7.0, 75% of the chlorine is in the active form of hypochlorous acid. At a pH of 7.5, active hypochlorous drops to 48% and at a pH of 8.0 hypochlorous acid is only 22%.1.0 – 3.0 ppm
Combined Available ChlorineWhen free active chlorine reacts with ammonia, organic nitrogen compounds and other contaminates in the pool water, chloramines are formed. Chloramines are not an effective disinfectant and are actually the cause of most eye irritation and odor problems. The presence of combined chlorine in water can be removed by the addition of 10 ppm free available chlorine per ppm of combined chlorine or the use of other shocking agents.n/a
Total Dissolved SolidsThis is the total amount of all material dissolved in the pool water. As water is reused and chemicals are added, a load develops that adversely affects water balance and efficient operations. The only proper cure is dilution with fresh make-up water.Should not exceed 1,500 ppm
TemperatureFor swimming pools maintained within a range of 75 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, temperature is not an important factor in proper water balance.n/a

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