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Health Benefits of Water Exercise

If you're looking for a way to cool off this summer and get fit, you may want to consider water exercise. A physician explains the health benefits.

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CLEVELAND - Spending time in the water this summer is a great way to stay cool.

It can also be a great way to stay in shape.

Collin Kitchell, MD, family medicine physician for Cleveland Clinic Florida, highlights the health benefits.

“Some of the spectacular health benefits of aqua therapy and swimming is that it’s non-weight bearing, especially in our older population that may have more arthritis,” said Dr. Kitchell. “Having the ability to move the joints without the impact actually gives them the exercise without the discomfort.”

Water exercise can also help with your cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles, improve flexibility and endurance, and even reduce stress.

So, what are some good exercises for the water?

Dr. Kitchell said you don’t have to do anything intense.

If you’re not a big swimmer or find it too strenuous, you can simply walk around the pool to get some steps in.

There are also water aerobics classes available in many communities.

The classes typically include a variety of exercises focusing on both cardio and strength-training.

“Anyone that’s getting into exercise, this is a great place to start. It’s easy, it’s fun, you get to get in the water, and it really limits the injury impact you could have due to the reduction of your weight being in the water with the buoyancy,” said Dr. Kitchell.

Dr. Kitchell said if you have a pre-existing health condition, it’s best to talk with your physician before trying water exercise.

However, it’s generally low impact so for most people it’s safe to do.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for its expertise and care. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 81,000 employees worldwide are more than 5,743 salaried physicians and researchers, and 20,160 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,690-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 23 hospitals, 276 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2023, there were 13.7 million outpatient encounters, 323,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 301,000 surgeries and procedures throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 132 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/CleClinicNews. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

Editor’s Note: Cleveland Clinic News Service is available to provide broadcast-quality interviews and B-roll upon request.

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