Water-based exercise improves health-related aspects of fitness in older women

Nobuo Takeshima, Michael E. Rogers, Eiji Watanabe, William F. Brechue, Akiyoshi Okada, Tadaki Yamada, Mohammod M. Islam, Jyunichirou Hayano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

210 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the physiological responses of elderly women to a well-rounded exercise program performed in water (WEX). Methods: The participants (60-75 yr of age) were randomly divided into a training (TR) group (N = 15) and a control group (N = 15). The TR group participated in a 12-wk supervised WEX program, 70 min·day-1, 3 d·wk-1. The WEX consisted of 20 min of warm-up and stretching exercise, 10 min of resistance exercise, 30 min of endurance-type exercise (walking and dancing), and 10 min of cool-down exercise. Results: The WEX led to an increase (P < 0.05) in peak V̇O2 (12%) and V̇O2 at lactate threshold (20%). Muscular strength evaluated by a hydraulic resistance machine increased significantly at resistance dial setting 8 (slow) for knee extension (8%), knee flexion (13%), chest press (7%) and pull (11%), shoulder press (4%) and pull (6%), and back extension (6%). Vertical jump (9%), side-stepping agility (22%), trunk extension (11%), and FEV1.0 (7%) also increased significantly. There was a significant decrease in skin-fold thickness (-8%), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (-17%), and total cholesterol (-11%). There were no significant changes in these variables in the control group. Conclusion: These results indicate that WEX elicits significant improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, body fat, and total cholesterol in older adult women. Water-based exercise appears to be a very safe and beneficial mode of exercise that can be performed as part of a well-rounded exercise program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-551
Number of pages8
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Elderly
  • Head-out water immersion
  • Well-rounded exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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