Consumer Watch: Best water workouts

Spending time in a pool this summer won't just keep you cool, it can also help you become healthier. And these days, there are plenty of interesting ways to get moving in the water, which helps improve your blood pressure, boost your brainpower, and strengthen your body. And health experts at Consumer Reports say another bonus of a water workout is what it doesn't do to your joints.

You can get a great total body workout in a pool, and not just in the lap lanes. How about trying a class that uses treadmills in the water or lets you spin on an aqua cycle?

You can also 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.

Stretching with aqua yoga or aqua Pilates may also help improve agility and flexibility.

Water workouts are less punishing on your body. You're buoyant in water, so there's less pain and stress on your hips, knees, and other joints. That may allow you to stay active longer.

Consumer Reports suggests looking around for water classes near you. If you can't find a program, you can get the same benefits by walking briskly in a pool's shallow end or wearing a flotation belt to run in deep water. Whatever you choose, do it at a moderate intensity at least twice a week to reap the rewards.
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