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Get into the water to score exercise benefits

Published: Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 11:15 a.m. CST

Remember the enjoyment you got out of playing in the water when you were a child? Activities like splashing in the tub, running into crashing waves at the beach and playing in the pool all were tons of fun. Now you can continue having fun in the water and get a great workout by joining a water exercise class.

If you are used to exercising on land, try cross-training by adding water exercise classes. Recent research has shown it provides three of the benefits most exercisers want — significant cardiovascular workout, burn calories and gain strength.

Participants often don’t believe they’re achieving the same cardiovascular benefits in the water as on land, but research indicates that exercising in shallow or deep water can improve cardiorespiratory endurance. Motivated, highly skilled exercisers are able to achieve higher heart rates than beginners. So if you’re a beginner, be patient and give yourself time to adapt and learn the skills.

Studies have shown that for burning calories, rhythmic, vertical water exercise is comparable to land-based programs without much of the impact associated with land-based classes. Studies also have indicated significant increases in muscular strength and endurance of participants in water-based classes. Of high interest in some of these studies is the increase in abdominal strength due to the vertical, dynamic postural alignment techniques using water’s surrounding resistance.

The Newton YMCA offers a wide range of water exercise classes ranging from deep water exercise, Aqua Zumba and water aerobics, all designed to give participants a great head to toe workout.

Given the fun, effective water workout water fitness can provide, what are you waiting for? Come on in and get wet!

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