Exercising in water is equally good for health as you do on land, says a study.
The study found that people who used an immersible ergocycle, 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,” said Martin Juneau, director of prevention at the Montreal Heart Institute.
He said 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, according to a statement of Montreal Heart Institute.
Healthy participants did exercise tests on both the land and in water cycling machines (with water up to chest level). They increased their intensity minute by minute until exhaustion.
Juneau reported that the maximal oxygen consumption – which tells you whether it was a good workout – was almost the same using both types of cycles.
His colleague Mathieu Gayda, clinical exercise physiologist at the Montreal Heart Institute, said: “Exercise during water immersion may be even more efficient from a cardiorespiratory standpoint.”
Another finding, says Juneau, is that the heart rate of the participants was a little lower in the water.
“You pump more blood for each beat, so don’t need as many heart beats, because the pressure of the water on your legs and lower body makes the blood return more effectively to the heart. That’s interesting data that hasn’t been studied thoroughly before,” said Juneau.
These findings were presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress.