Can You Lose Weight Doing Water Aerobics?

Can You Lose Weight Doing Water Aerobics?
Can You Lose Weight Doing Water Aerobics? (Image: Wavebreakmedia/iStock/GettyImages)

To casual observers, water aerobics might look like it's not much of a workout. Although it burns fewer calories than other types of aerobics done on land, water aerobics is still an excellent way to burn calories for weight loss. Combined with a calorie-reduced diet, people of all ages and abilities can shed pounds and gain fitness doing water aerobics several times a week.

How Weight Loss Works

Weight loss involves regularly burning more calories than you ingest. Understanding that one basic fact takes the magic and intimidation factor out of the weight-loss equation. Anytime you're physically active, you burn calories. The more vigorously you exercise the more calories you burn.

Your diet plays the biggest role in weight loss. It's easier to lose weight by reducing your calorie intake than by trying to burn off excess calories. But exercise is still an important part of maintaining the necessary calorie deficit, and it's good for your health.

Calories Burned

According to Harvard Health Publications, an adult will burn 120 to 178 calories in 30 minutes of water aerobics, depending on body weight. The more you weigh, the more calories you'll burn. Because your body weighs less in water, you don't have to work as hard. That's why you won't burn as many calories as you would taking a step aerobics class, which burns 165 to 444 calories in 30 minutes, depending on body weight and the intensity of the workout.

Benefits of Water Aerobics

While you'll burn fewer calories doing water aerobics, your body will undergo a lot less stress and pressure because of the buoyancy of water. That makes water aerobics an especially good exercise for weight loss for people who are very overweight and for individuals with joint issues.

Water provides natural resistance so it also help strengthen your muscles. Increasing muscle mass is an important part of shedding body weight. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so the more muscle you have the higher your metabolism. Some water aerobics classes use weights, which will help you build even more lean muscle mass.

Exercise Frequency and Diet Considerations

For water aerobics to aid weight loss, you have to do it regularly. Aim to do some type of exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. You can stick to water aerobics, or you can mix it up with other types of workouts. The more physical activity you are able to get, the more weight you'll lose.

Similarly, the healthier your diet, the more your efforts in the pool will be rewarded. To sustain activity and maintain muscle tone and bone health, eat nutrient-rich foods. Center your diet around fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats from nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. Stay away from processed foods, foods high in fat or salt, sweets and sugary beverages.

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