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New Study Reveals Working Out in Water Just as Effective

Cardio is essential. You can build muscle all you want, but you’ll have a hard time seeing it if it’s hidden beneath a layer of fat.

But what if doing traditional cardio exercise isn’t an option? What if running starts hurting your joints? What if it’s icy out and biking is out the question? Do you have to give up the benefits that come from cardio? No way!

Water it up!

Working out in water is just as effective a cardio workout as cardio workouts on land. No joke. According to a new study presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congresss, water-based cardio is as efficient as land-based cardio.

Don’t believe it? Perhaps you’re like many people who think that, because you can’t move fast in water that you can’t work as hard. This new study proves otherwise.

Researchers at the Montreal Heart Institute measured the oxygen consumption of participants using an exercise bike in a pool versus the oxygen consumed using a traditional stationary bike. The team found that maximal oxygen consumption was nearly the same with both types of cycles, meaning that water-based cardio is nearly as efficient as land-based cardio.

Dr. Martin Juneau, director of prevention at the Montreal Heart Institute, commented on the benefits of water-based cardio: “If you can’t train on land, you can train in the water and have the same benefits in terms of improving aerobic fitness.”

When’s the last time you went swimming, I mean full-on, arms and legs thrashing, racing your friend to the other side of the pool swimming? It’s tough isn’t it? This summer I had the pleasure of spending hours in a hotel pool. Knowing how good a workout swimming is, I made laps of the pool, swimming back and forth as hard as I could…and it beat me to hell.

If you doubt the impact of water-based cardio, take a look at Ryan Lochte or Michael Phelps sometime. These guys might not be huge dudes, but they’re muscular and in damn good shape. I haven’t heard about either of the two winning medals for running or biking events, have you?

To all you readers out there who incorporate water-based cardio into your workout, my hat’s off to you. Good job. To all you guys who need a break from running the track or using the damn elliptical for an hour a day, I suggest you invest in some decent trunks and hit the pool.

Swimming might not be seen as the most badass workout, but it’s effective. I knew that water-based cardio was effective, but this new study makes me want to swim all the time. Looks like I may need to switch gyms sometime soon (my gym can hardly refill the paper towel holders, let alone get a pool installed and running.)

If you’re looking to burn fat and get in shape, find a nearby pool, lake, or really big bathtub, and swim those calories off. Hey, it beats staring at the dude with the hair back using the treadmill in front of you.

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About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.

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