Fitness-related benefits: land-based versus aqua-base.J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2019JS
It is well documented that individuals participating in land-based aerobic activities receive several fitness-related benefits. Given its virtual weightlessness, thermoregulatory comfort, and ease of movements, aqua-based aerobic activities are commonly perceived as a simpler form of exercise, therefore, lacking the fitness-related benefits equivalent to that of land-based aerobic activities. The purpose of this study was to compare fitness-related benefits between land-based (LAND) versus aqua-based (AQUA) aerobic activity classes within a 15-week period.
One hundred and fifty-four volunteers participating in LAND (n = 76) and AQUA (n = 78) exercise groups were required to exercise 2 days per week, 50 minutes per day, for 15 weeks. Pre- and post- fitness assessments obtained were body composition, muscular endurance, muscular strength, cardiorespiratory endurance, and flexibility.
Mixed ANOVA showed a main effect and interaction for body composition in which, overall, participants decreased more body fat percentage in the land group. A main effect for both muscular strength and muscular endurance was revealed, but no interactions. There were no significant main effects or interactions for neither cardiorespiratory endurance nor flexibility.
Individuals participating in land-based aerobic activities displayed greater decreases in percent body fat when compared to aqua-based aerobic activities, whereas both land- and aqua-based displayed improvements in muscular strength and muscular endurance. There were no changes in cardiorespiratory endurance and flexibility within both groups.