Riding a bike, running or walking, are good practices to keep in shape. But tension in the body can be a lot if the person is obese, have joint problems or have been injured recently.

However, according to the striking findings of a new study, people in such situations could make the same kind of gymnastics immersed in water up to the chest, without the problems associated with it out of the water, and, most importantly, effective equally beneficial to their physical form if they did out of water.

a swimming pool can serve as gym

At first sight, and because we exert resistance against water when we move on it is easy to think that exercising in this way may not be as effective as doing it on land. The new study, by Drs Martin Juneau and Mathieu Gayda, from Montreal Heart Institute, Canada, demonstrates otherwise.

In tests, it was found that people who used a submersible bike (basically like a conventional bike but placed into a pool) had just made the same amount of exercise that if they had done out of the water.

Participants, healthy people, tests performed on both bikes into the water (with the water up to chest level) and beyond. The subjects increased exercise intensity every minute until exhaustion.

Maximal oxygen consumption was about the same using both types of bikes.

Perform physical exercise in water may even be more efficient from a cardiorespiratory standpoint.

Another finding is that the participants’ heart rate was a little lower in the water. In the specific situation of the participants in the water, the heart pumps more blood with each beat, so no need to beat both. That extra amount of blood with each beat is because the upright posture in the water pressure on the legs and lower body gets the blood back to the heart more effectively. That’s an interesting point that had not been thoroughly studied, as highlighted by Dr. Juneau.

Considering the number of persons who may find it difficult to exercise on land, the option of in the water, as described, is promising. Especially since, although it may be the best exercise to do in the water, not everyone knows how to swim. With the benefits provided by the physical effort, the advantage of lower voltage to run the body movements, and the security provided by the least chance of injury, water gymnastics is a good alternative to the land, as assessed Dr. Juneau.