If you suffer from obesity, joint pain, or arthritis you may want to consider doing your exercises in water. In fact, even if you don’t suffer from any of these, you may still want to consider water-based exercise.
According to a Canadian study, people who used an immersible ergocycle (water-based bike) had just about the equivalent workout to a stationary bike. The study indicates that despite the slower pace of the workout, and a resulting average lower heart rate, blood flow through the heart was actually better because the pressure of the water on the legs and lower body made blood return more effectively to the heart.
Other options for water-based exercise include swimming (considered by many doctors as the best exercise of all) or simply just rigorous movement, like walking quickly through chest high water.
We know that regular exercise keeps joints moving, restores and preserves flexibility and strength and protects against further damage. Exercise is even closely linked to improved sense of self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment. So if you are hindered from an ability to exercise out of water, why not jump in? There are many advantages, including:
- the soothing warmth and buoyancy of water which helps relieve arthritis pain and stiffness;
- warm water raises your body temperature, causing your blood vessels to dilate resulting in increased circulation; and
- water resistance gently helps improve muscle strength.
Ideal temperature for most water-based exercise is in the 83 – 88 degree range since overly warm water is easier for the body to tolerate.
If you are looking to relax after working out and to soothe sore muscles, try warmer water, like a spa or hot tub. This adds a therapeutic component, with the massaging of the jets of water helping to relax tight muscles. Just make sure not to stay too long. Soaking in water above body temperature should not exceed 10 to 15 minutes. And recognize that children and older people are more susceptible to overheating.
Studies have shown that people who are physically active have a 35-55% lower risk of heart attack, so if you are one of those people who has trouble exercising out of water, just add water. It may be just the prescription you have been waiting for.
Have you done water exercises? How did you like them?
– The Alternative Daily