Question 19

When someone is doing aquatic exercises, what are the effects on the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems?

1. When immersed in thermal water, the work required to breathe increases by more than half, which increases cardiac output. The blood flow to muscles also increases by 225%! (Kristen)

2. Aquatic exercises effect the cardiovascular system by increasing your heart rate, but not to the same intensity as exercise on land. The fact that heart rate does not increase at the same rate as land based exercises can be beneficial to individuals with cardiovascular problems or in elderly populations with heart disease. (Carley)

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**When the chest cavity is immersed in water, heart rate decreases, so it is not appropriate to utilize land-based target HR when monitoring intesity. (Melissa) [Info from my community fitness notes]

3. When immersed in water, forced vital capacity and expiratory reserve volume decreases whereas residual volume and inspiratory capacity increases in the lungs. (Laura)

4. Water is equally beneficial for patients with hypertension. When people are immersed to the neck, for instance, systemic vascular resistance decreases by 30 percent, with peripheral venous tone diminishing by 30 percent. Total peripheral resistance lowers during the first hour of immersion and persists for a time thereafter. This drop is related to temperature, with higher temperatures producing greater drops. This decreases end-diastolic pressures and cardiac after load. While systolic pressures do increase with increasing workload, they appear to be approximately 20 percent less in water than on land. Thus, water is a safe and beneficial environment for patients who are hypertensive.
(Sarah K.)

5. Respiratory endurance can be improved due to the increased energy required to breath. Aquatic therapy is used for patients with exercise-induced asthma because the humidity in the air decreases the likelihood of having an asthma attack. (Amber)

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