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Exercise in cold water may increase appetite, UF study finds

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- Exercise in cold water instead of warm water may increase people's appetites, making it harder for them to lose extra pounds, a University of Florida study finds.

Results indicate people may consume more calories after exercising in cold water, according to Lesley White, a UF researcher who designed the study to better understand why aquatic exercise is often less successful than equal amounts of jogging or cycling for people who want to lose weight.

"It's possible that individuals who exercise in cooler water may have an exaggerated energy intake following exercise, which may be a reason why they don't lose as much weight," said White, an assistant professor in the College of Health and Human Performance. "So it may not be the exercise itself that causes the problem because you can match the exercise energy expenditure; rather it's the increased eating after the exercise is over."

White said her research is not meant to suggest that swimming or aquatic exercise is ineffective for building physical fitness. In fact, water exercise is suggested for people who are overweight because the buoyancy given by the water makes exercising easier for people with joint or balance problems.

"Water exercise is an excellent activity for many people, particularly those with joint disorders, thermal regulatory problems and balance or coordination difficulties," she said. "However, an earlier study reported that women who swam did not lose as much weight as those who jogged or cycled."

For her study, published in February in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, White tracked the energy used by 11 UF students as they rode a stationary bicycle submerged in water for 45 minutes. The students exercised in cold water of 68 degrees Fahrenheit and warm water of 91.4 degrees Fahrenheit. The same students, ages 21 to 31, also spent 45 minutes resting. The study found the students used a similar amount of
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Contact: Lesley White
lwhite@hhp.ufl.edu
352-392- 9575
University of Florida
4-May-2005


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