Tuesday, October 09, 2012 Aquatic Therapy Linked With Higher Physical Endurance Aquatic workouts may trump land-based exercise for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), says an article by Reuters Health based on a study published in European Respiratory Journal. For their investigation, Australian researchers randomly assigned 53 participants to workouts in a hydrotherapy pool, gym-based training, or standard medical care without exercise. The exercise programs include 3 weekly 1-hour sessions over 2 months. Forty-five patients completed the study. Whether they worked out on land or in water, patients were able walk faster after the training than when they just got usual care. But patients who exercised in the pool reported less fatigue and developed more physical endurance than those who trained in the gym. On the endurance shuttle walk test, patients who'd exercised in water outpaced the gym trainers by 228 meters (748 feet). "Participants in the water-based exercise training group reported an improvement in many functional aspects of their daily life such as improved stamina and ability to complete tasks such as walking long distances when shopping," said lead author Renae McNamara, PT. There had been some concerns that people with COPD might not tolerate the pressure from the water on the chest. The researchers saw no drop-outs due to worsening COPD in patients training in the pool, although they did see some in the gym group. The authors reported that most of the participants in the study did not have severe disease, says Reuters.