Biking, running and walking are all good for you. But the strain can be tough if you're overweight, have arthritis or suffer from other joint problems or injuries. What to do? Just add water.
A study presented today at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 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," 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.
"You pump more blood for each beat, so don't need as many heartbeats, 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," says Dr. Juneau.
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.
Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Beth Abramson notes that 85 per cent of Canadians do not accumulate the recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity.
"Inactive people who become physically active can reduce their risk of heart attack risk by 35 to 55 per cent, plus lower their chance of developing several other conditions, cut stress levels and increase energy," says Dr. Abramson. "Even if you have difficulty moving more, there are always solutions, as this study shows. This is encouraging given the aging population – it's never too late or too difficult to make a lifestyle change."
The Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2012 is co-hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.
Statements and conclusions of study authors are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect Foundation or CCS policy or position. The Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society make no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation (heartandstroke.ca), a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living and advocacy.
Healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke. Together we will make it happen.
For more information and/or interviews, contact the CCC 2012 MEDIA OFFICE AT 416-585-3781 (Oct 28-31)
ORDiane Hargrave Public Relations
Spanish scientists create a 3-D bioprinter to print human skin
24.01.2017 | Carlos III University of Madrid
Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis
23.01.2017 | Massachusetts General Hospital
A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.01.2017 | Life Sciences
24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine