Water aerobics is a low-impact form of exercise that gets your heart pounding, improving cardiovascular health and possibly reducing your risk of heart attacks and strokes. The amount of time you need to spend on water aerobics depends upon your fitness goals and whether you're doing other types of exercise.
The frequency with which you need to do water aerobics can be affected by your other workout routines. If you spend time doing other aerobic activities such as running or cycling, you can spend less time doing water aerobics. There's also no specific upper limit on how much time you can spend on water aerobics. Instead, let your body be your guide. If you feel achy or exhausted, take a day off, but if you feel up to doing an hour or more a day and don't have any medical contraindications, you can certainly work toward this goal.
If you want to lose weight or maintain your current weight, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends 200 to 300 minutes of aerobic exercise per week. This equates to an hour of water aerobics most days of the week. Of course, the amount of time you'll need to spend to lose weight depends also on the intensity of your workout routine, how quickly you want to lose weight and how much weight you need to lose.
To ensure a healthy heart, protect against diseases such as diabetes and reduce your risk of certain cancers, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control establishes specific aerobic exercise recommendations. If you're doing an intense water aerobics routine that leaves you breathless and exhausted, you'll need at least 75 minutes per week. For more moderate workouts, the CDC recommends 150 minutes each week.
Balancing Diet and Exercise
No matter how much you exercise, you won't lose weight unless you create a caloric deficit. A caloric deficit is when you burn more calories than you eat. The more calories you can reduce from your diet, the more weight you'll lose. Thirty minutes of water aerobics burns about 150 calories in a 155-pound person, and you have to burn 3,500 calories for every pound you want to lose. Consequently, exercise alone is often insufficient to achieve weight loss.
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Physical Activity
- Water Aerobics: FAQ
- Aquatic Exercise Association: Standards and Guidelines
- Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise: American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. Appropriate Physical Activity Intervention Strategies for Weight Loss and Prevention of Weight Regain for Adults