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Water walking is ideal for arthritis sufferers and anyone carrying extra pounds.

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As Howard Chansky, M.D., a professor and chair of department of Othopedics and Sports Medicine at the University of Washington, explains, "Being in water lets you excercise without putting the full force of gravity on your joints. On land, the force on your joints can be seven times your body weight. In water, you reduce that force by hundreds of pounds."

This buoyancy cushions joints to make exercising feel effortless. Even though you're toning muscles more effectively than you would on land. "Water is more viscious than air - moving against that resistance makes muscles work harder," says Dr. Chansky. Indeed, studies at Texas A & M University found that water walking builds 600 percent more lean muscle than strolling on ground. And Dr. Chansky adds, "Since you're strengthening the muscles around the joints, you'll also experience less joint pain overall."

To get the benefits, Dr Chansky suggests walking laps or marching in place in water that's at least waist deep for 15 to 20 minutes a day. Women with joint pain may want to consider a Swim Spa or Hot Tub since the warmth soothes joint inflammation to ease symptoms.

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