Increase Fitness Through Aquatic Exercise

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Water workouts increase overall health, according to Marybeth Pappas-Baun, author of the new edition of "Fantastic Water Workouts."

Aquatic exercise, often associated with physical therapy, is an effective tool in increasing overall fitness and health for the general population. In the new edition of Fantastic Water Workouts (Human Kinetics, November 2007), Mary Pappas-Baun shows how aquatic exercise increases muscle strength and cardiovascular endurance and provides greater resistance than many joint-pounding, land-based exercises.

"Water exercise provides an ideal and safe form of workout for just about everyone," Pappas-Baun says. "By exercising in warm water, you can increase the blood supply to your muscles, increase your energy production, increase your body's use of oxygen, and decrease your blood pressure."

Pappas-Baun adds that recent medical studies have shown aquatic exercise results in better total cholesterol levels as well as improvements in weight, strength, flexibility, and agility.

"Fantastic Water Workouts" offers safe variations of many popular weight training exercises (including squats, lunges, and shoulder shrugs) that often strain the joints and muscles. "Pushing or pulling your limbs through water approximates the use of muscle power required for weight training without the discomfort," Pappas-Baun says. "With the right resistance training equipment, water workouts can produce results comparable to those achieved in land-based weight training programs designed to enhance muscle tone and strength.

According to Pappas-Baun, the resistance that water offers increases the workload and, in turn, burns more calories. "You can burn up to 525 calories per hour doing water walking--compare that to 240 calories on land," she adds.

For more information on "Fantastic Water Workouts" or Human Kinetics' other fitness titles, visit

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Patty Lehn
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