This is a guest post by one of my favorite healthy lifestyle bloggers, Kaitlin Gardner. You can read all about her at the bottom of the post. Find more awesome health advice at her blog, An Apple Per Day.
Yes, you can really lose weight with aqua aerobics. But it’s not like a magic solution – you still have to be regular with exercise, and watch your diet while you work out. I use water workouts to lose weight, and have found that if it’s done right, I burn plenty of calories. Here’s how it works for me.
The Basics Of Aqua Aerobics
The key is in the word aerobic – when exercise in the water is performed vigorously enough to raise the heart rate, which burns calories, that is an aerobic workout. A lot of people have seen pictures of seniors in a group water workout, waving their arms in the air and smiling. It leads to the assumption that a water workout isn’t a very strenuous exercise. I have found just the opposite – the water can provide a very solid workout option. That’s why competitive runners – even those training for marathons – use aqua aerobics to cross train, or to maintain their condition while recovering from an injury. Here are some excellent articles with more information:
- How Many Calories Are Burned By Water Aerobics?
- My Ultimate Guide To Aqua Aerobics
- Water Aerobics and Water Fitness Exercises
Why Is The Water A Good Workout Choice?
There are a number of benefits you get from being in the water. Since the water is a dense medium, it provides resistance against movements – thereby increasing the work load and burning calories. The water is gentle on the joints, because the buoyancy effect allows a person to only support a fraction of their body weight. This means a water workout is low impact, which is great on joints that might be sore or aching. Just being in the water is better for the heart, because it has to work less. It is thought this happens because of the lessened effect of gravity, and the lower water temperatures, but a person’s heart will beat significantly slower during a water exercise. That means you can burn more calories and put less stress on your heart.
When I work out, I have three great choices to get a good cardio component and burn a lot of calories:
- Aqua jogging. This is my favorite water workout, because I can get the same benefits of the running trail, without all the pounding. I just go to my community pool when the lap lanes are open. I hop in one, and begin moving up and down it with my best running posture. I was running a lot the first time I tried this, and I was surprised that I had to stop a lot sooner than I would have expected. I hadn’t factored in the resistance of the water, which really tired me out. I wear old tennis shoes to protect my feet, and put a water bottle at the end of the lane to stay hydrated.
- Kickboxing class. This one is great after a stressful day at work. I have to really work hard to push against the resistance of the water when I punch and kick. The instructor keeps us moving briskly for a full hour, and I’m really satisfied afterward, knowing that I have gotten a super cardio workout.
- Aqua Zumba. I would never try this on land – I’m too shy to let anyone see me doing all the sexy moves of this dance craze. But in the pool, most of my body is underwater, so I just let go and dance my heart out. After an hour, I’m breathing hard, have to drink a lot of fluids, and there’s no doubt that I’ve gotten a solid workout. Plus it was a lot of fun.
The water is a fun place to be, and when I work out vigorously enough to lose weight, it just makes me smile.
Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.