Every year the gyms seem to get a new hot workout that fills the studios. This year, the studio equipment is getting anchors at the bottom of the pool and people are flocking to get in. Even better, this new fad may actually be one of the best workouts to hit the scene.
CNN covered the research that the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress just published, which explored the new aquabike craze. Aquabikes, or hydro-riders, are stationary bikes that have been anchored to a pool floor. The rider ends up being about chest deep while riding. Many classes are lead similar to the popular spin classes with an instructor calling out different drills, this is just done in water. The water obviously offers a difference in resistance than land, but the research is saying it’s also offering the heart a tremendous bonus.
The study was authored by Dr. Martin Janeau, director of prevention at the Montreal Heart Institute. Dr. Janeau and his fellow researchers took 33 healthy participants and compared their stats after doing the same workout on land and then in water. The results found that the participants’ cardiovascular systems worked more efficiently in the water, even though the exercise routine was the same.
The participants literally breathed easier as they consumed less oxygen and their heart rates remained lower while riding in water. It’s believed that the water provided hydrostatic pressure on the body which made it easier for blood to return to the heart. All of this adds up to fewer breaths taken, fewer heart beats, lower heart rate, and simply less stress for the body to maintain a fairly intense cardio session.
A low heart rate during intense activity is what is expected from an advanced athlete, as they’ve trained their body to be so efficient. Being able to provide this type of elite fitness efficiency could help many beginners get a great start at the gyms this year. Abby Bales, a trainer from New York City, discussed this issue with us. She said that this activity will benefit the obese or the sick as they attempt to get an efficient workout. Abby referred to the bikes as a rehabilitative method, which is where they got their start, in rehab medical offices. Making them available to the general public could provide an easier chance for those who are obese to begin a weight loss and fitness journey.