To casual observers, water aerobics might look like a no-impact sport. Although water aerobics might burn less calories per hour than kick boxing, it is an excellent fitness activity for people of all age groups and abilities. When a body moves, it burns extra calories and exercise of any kind has health benefits. The best weight reduction plans work much like water aerobics; slow, steady and low impact to a person's well-being and comfort.
Weight loss involves burning more calories than a person ingests. Understanding that one basic fact takes the magic and intimidation factor out of the weight-loss equation. Calculate the number of calories you need per day to sustain current weight, or to sustain the ideal healthy weight you want to achieve. The Department of Agriculture features a calories-needed-per-day calculator on its MyPyramid website. To lose approximately 1 lb. per week, reduce the calorie count by 500. Any additional activities, such as water aerobics, speeds up weight loss.
Water Aerobics Workout
Water aerobics does not significantly increase lean body mass because the water protects the body from the effects of gravity. Unlike running, which builds lean body mass, thereby increasing metabolism, water aerobics effects are low and slow on the body. Water aerobics helps lose excess weight when combined with sensible diet and reduction in calories consumed, and adding water weights to the work out burns extra calories. Harvard Medical School reports a 155-pound person will burn about 149 calories during a 30-minute water aerobics class.
Losing weight requires you to burn off more calories than you consume, and the foods that make up those calories help determine overall health and dieting success. To sustain activity and maintain muscle skin tone and bones, eat nutrient-rich foods. Make sure to replace energy spent after a workout with a healthy snack, such as fruit or a low fat yogurt. Rely on whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins. Stay away from processed foods, and foods high in fat or salt.
The gentle nature of water aerobic exercise is good for people with arthritis or other joint troubles. Heavy people benefit from keeping cool in the water, and keeping weight off stressed hips and knees. Water aerobics allows people to work out longer at lower intensities, thereby burning more fat than shorter duration, high-intensity exercise. An important additional benefit from water aerobic exercise is maintaining muscle tone while dieting. Keeping muscle tissue healthy and strong is particularly important for older people. Strong muscles help maintain balance and strength essential for healthy independent living. Exercise, particularly aquatic varieties increase blood circulation, lower blood pressure, and ease joint pain. Perhaps most important, water aquatics helps lift spirits, and provides healthy social interaction in a group setting.
Always check with a doctor before starting any exercise regimen. Some people experience allergic reactions to pool chemicals, and might need to use earplugs or nose clips. Showering thoroughly after a workout with a chlorine-cleansing soap and applying moisturizer afterward helps avoid itchy skin. Cutting back too severely on calories while exercising is a bad idea, so slow and steady reduction garners the best and longest lasting results.
- "Physical Fitness and Wellness: Changing the Way You Look, Feel, and Perform"; Jerrold S. Greenberg, George B. Dintiman, Barbee Myers Oakes; 2004
- American Heart Association: Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations
- MyPyramid: Inside the Pyramid
- Harvard Medical School: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights