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Ask Doctor Cory.

Dear Dr. Cory:

Are water aerobics dangerous?

Melissa Thrun

Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Dear Melissa:

Water aerobics are one of the safest forms of exercise, and they can give your whole body a good workout. Of course, if you have any kind of a chronic health condition you should always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. Knowing how to swim is important for safety and exercise purposes, but it is not a necessity with water aerobics. Classes are often taught by certified aquatic life-saving instructors, and flotation belts or vests are usually available.

Aerobic exercises, such as walking, running, and swimming, increase the heart rate and the amount of oxygen the body takes in. Water aerobics use every muscle and every joint all at the same time without the stress on the joints and muscles that occur with other activities.

Water aerobics is a good activity for those who have not exercised in a while because you can start out easy and gradually increase the amount of activity.

Another form of water exercise is aqua running or walking. Again, you can adjust your workout--making it as hard or as demanding as you want. All you need is a swimming pool. Many professional sports teams use water running or walking in their strength and conditioning programs.

Dear Dr. Cory:

Why do kids get diabetes?

Nicole, age 10

Harper's Ferry, Iowa

Dear Nicole:

There are two types of diabetes--type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is often passed down in families and occurs when the cells in the body that make insulin are accidentally destroyed by the body. Without insulin, blood sugar levels get too high in the bloodstream because the blood sugar can't get into the body cells. Medicine or shots of insulin help to get the sugar into the cells. Researchers still don't know the exact cause of type 1 diabetes but they believe that something in the environment, such as a virus, may trigger it.

With type 2 diabetes the body makes the correct amount of insulin, but blood sugar rises anyway because the body does not use the insulin correctly. Type 2 diabetes is often the result of obesity. In the past, type 2 diabetes was mainly seen in adults and rarely in children. Today, there are many more children with type 2 diabetes. This is because of the huge increase in childhood obesity. Too many hours in front of a TV or computer and too many super-sized fast-food meals make it easy for kids to gain weight.

Children who are overweight, have a family history of type 2 diabetes, and are American Indian, African American, or Hispanic/Latino have a much greater risk for type 2 diabetes. Even those at risk of getting type 2 diabetes have the chance to prevent or delay it if they keep a healthy weight and stay physically active. Start now to have healthy habits--eat a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods. Avoid fast-food meals, limit sugary foods and drinks, and be moderately to vigorously active for at least an hour and up to several hours each day.


Cory SerVaas, M.D.
COPYRIGHT 2007 Children's Better Health Institute
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:SerVaas, Cory
Publication:U.S. Kids
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2007
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