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Cold Water Exercise May Help You Gain Weight

If you read my eHealthy News You Can Use newsletter with any regularity, you know exercise is one of the cornerstones of my Total Health Program. And many of you get your fair share of it by swimming your pounds away. Unfortunately, the safest and best spot for swimming isn't the pool in your gym: It's the ocean. Especially since, the amount of chlorine you can absorb from swimming one hour in a pool far exceeds what you'd get from drinking unfiltered tap water for a week.

Because many of you can't get to the ocean, however, swimming in a pool may be your only alternative, particularly if you're fighting chronic painful conditions like fibromyalgia and need to exercise. Based on a University of Florida study, you'll want to use a warm water pool over one with cold water as the latter may increase your appetite and make it harder for you to lose weight.

Researchers compared the energy expended by 11 students who rode a stationary bike in warm water (91 degrees) and cold water (68 degrees) pools for 45 minutes. The amount of calories students expended in both water temperatures was virtually the same. After a rest period, students were shuffled to a room to have their vitals measured. In that same room, they were asked to remain there for an hour, where they also had free access to food.

Their caloric intake after swimming in cold water spiked an amazing 44 percent over exercising in warm water and 41 percent over periods of rest.

International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism February 2005

EurekAlert May 4, 2005

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