Consumer Reports: Health benefits of water workouts

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Spending time in the pool this summer won't just keep you cool, it can also help you get healthier. These days, there are plenty of interesting ways to get moving in the water, which helps improve blood pressure, brain health and strengthen your body.

Competing in an Ironman, even a half-triathlon, is no joke. At the World Championship this September, 72-year-old Joanne Dondero will have to swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles and run just over 13 miles. Her training begins in the water.

"I can have a workout with different intensities, which can be for either strength, or endurance, flexibility, and or just relaxation," she said.

"You can get a great total body workout in a pool," said Trisha Calvo, Consumer Reports Health Editor.

And not just in the lap lanes. How about trying a class that uses treadmills in the water? Or takes you for a spin on an aqua cycle?

You can improve blood pressure and brain health; burn calories and strengthen your cardiovascular system. Plus, there's an added benefit you don't get on land.

"Water is denser than air, so it provides more resistance. That means you're challenging your muscles in a different way," said Calvo.

Stretching with aqua yoga or aqua pilates may also help improve agility and flexibility. Water workouts are also less punishing on your body.

"You're more buoyant in the water, so it's less pain and stress on your joints like your hips and your knees," said Calvo.

Which, as Joanne Dondero can attest, may allow you to stay active, longer.

Experts suggest getting a water workout in at least twice a week to reap the rewards.
Copyright © 2019 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.