Physiological response to water aerobics

J Eckerson, T Anderson
Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 1992, 32 (3): 255-61
Heart rate (HR) and oxygen uptake (VO2) measured during water aerobics (WA) were compared to maximal values obtained during an incremental treadmill test to assess the energy demand and potential cardiorespiratory (CR) training effects of WA. Sixteen college-age females served as subjects (mean +/- SD = 20.4 +/- 1.6 years). WA elicited a mean HR of 162 b.min-1 and a mean VO2 of 18.4 which represented 74% of HR reserve, 82% of maximal HR, and 48% of VO2 max. Average caloric expenditure was 5.7 kcal.min-1. HR values for WA were consistent with guidelines established by the American College of Sports Medicine for developing and maintaining CR fitness in healthy adults. However, the VO2 fell just below the recommended minimum threshold level. It was concluded that WA may provide an attractive alternative to traditional modes of exercise for improving CR fitness, however, HR measures may overestimate the metabolic intensity of the exercise.

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