This week we are featuring an article about why working out in the water is beneficial.
Water workouts offer great aerobic benefits with less wear and tear
A study presented yesterday at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress found that people who used an immersible ergo cycle – basically an exercise bike in a pool – had just about the equivalent workout to using a typical stationary bike.
“If you can’t train on land, you can train in the water and have the same benefits in terms of improving aerobic fitness,” says Dr. Martin Juneau, director of prevention at the Montreal Heart Institute.
He says people might assume that exercising in the water can’t be as valuable as exercising on land. Because of the resistance of the water when you move, it doesn’t seem like you can work as hard. This new study indicates otherwise.
Healthy participants did exercise tests on both the land and water cycling machines (with water up to chest level). They increased their intensity minute by minute until exhaustion.
Dr. Juneau reports that the maximal oxygen consumption – which tells you whether it was a good workout – was almost the same using both types of cycles.
His study colleague Dr. Mathieu Gayda, a clinical exercise physiologist at the Montreal Heart Institute, adds: “Exercise during water immersion may be even more efficient from a cardiorespiratory standpoint.”
Another finding, says Dr. Juneau, is that the heart rate of the participants was a little lower in the water.
Considering the number of people who can find it difficult to exercise on land, the water option is promising, says Dr. Juneau. He says that swimming may be the best exercise of all but not everyone can swim. With the workout benefits, the low stress of moving in the water and the reduced chance of injury, “this is a great alternative,” he says.
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