There are some people who think that working out in a casual pool may seem to be less effective than doing it in a gym. But there’s a reason why swimming is one of the best exercises there is; a study presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress and featured on backs this fact up.

Dr. Martin Juneau, Director of Prevention at the Montreal Heart Institute, and his team of scientists researched on the positive effects of water workouts. Healthy volunteers were asked to pedal an immersible ergocycle (or a stationary bike in water) in a pool. Speeds were increased at regular intervals until the participants reached exhaustion, and the researchers recorded important factors such as oxygen consumption and heart rate.

The results showed that the amount of oxygen consumed when exercising in water was the same as the amount recorded by those who did so on land. Muscle and ligament wear and tear were also lessened as water creates buoyancy, making overweight individuals light enough for them to exert just enough effort to exercise without causing injury. Also, water workouts caused lower heart rates as compared to doing physical activities on land.

"You pump more blood for each beat, so don't need as many heartbeats, because the pressure of the water on your legs and lower body makes the blood return more effectively to the heart. That's interesting data that hasn't been studied thoroughly before," Dr. Juneau explains.

In the Philippines, where pools and beaches are easily accessible, exercising in water is a great alternative to running or going to the gym. You don’t need an immersible ergocycle to keep fit; swimming is one sport that can do the trick, and you’ll even be rewarded with a nice tan. So pack your bathing suit and lotion; losing those excess inches is just about to get fun.

(Photo by Jim Bahn via Flickr Creative Commons)

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