The summer is an excellent season to go swimming. The pool is not only good for recreational activities but improving one’s health as well. Thousands of people sign up for water aerobics classes to work on their muscles or simply add some fun, effective routines in the pool for a change of pace.
Water exercise can build strength, improve mood, and keep you successful on your weight loss journey. It is an effective way to add some extra activity into your exercise routine while providing a low-impact workout that’s also enjoyable. There are other benefits to working out in the pool. Continue reading to learn more about water exercises for weight loss and how to get started.
What is Water Exercise?
Also called water aerobics, water exercise is when someone performs an exercise routine in areas of water. The swimming pool is a common choice among people looking to find a different way to exercise. While you typically would not be swimming, you perform most aerobics vertically in waist-deep or deep water.
Some people attend classes with a group and a trained professional. Water exercises work well for both cardio and resistance training.
Benefits of Water Exercise
One of the benefits is how water exercises activate muscle groups. Water has greater resistance than air since it is up to 800 times denser. Your moves will put in extra effort to complete a routine. As a result, you can get a better cardio workout for improved heart health.
Resistance training also builds endurance, flexibility, and strength. All three are necessary for a stronger and healthier body. If you are an athletic person, you can benefit from some resistance training in the water.
Besides working out the muscles, people can burn more calories during a routine. How different is water exercise for weight loss from its land counterpart? They can help you burn calories in a short amount of time. When you join a water exercise class, you may burn anywhere from 400 to 500 calories an hour.
There are some water aerobics calorie calculators to help you determine how many calories you can burn. You might see a difference after doing some water exercises for a while in comparison to land workouts. A regular workout routine in a swimming pool is worth considering.
A Low-Impact Workout
If someone has a joint condition like arthritis, they can benefit from water exercises. Water places an upward force called buoyancy onto a person. As a result, you may feel 90% lighter when in a swimming pool. The buoyancy ends up supporting your muscles and joints, making water aerobics a low-impact workout routine.
The low-impact activities are suitable for people of all ages and levels of fitness. Pregnant women can enjoy the benefits of the pool. Even those with fibromyalgia and balance issues can consider using water exercises for weight loss.
Group Exercise Value
Since many people choose to perform water exercises for weight loss in a class, they can experience community support from their group. A group setting can reinforce a sense of autonomy and renew motivation. A class usually has a trained professional to instruct the group. Some people might see an exercise as less intimidating when an expert is around.
Peers can offer helpful tips to maximize the physical benefits you get out of water aerobics. Not to mention, you can make friends when working out with a group. If you are concerned about messing up in front of others, the water can make it harder to see when that happens.
Improves Mental Health
Not only do water exercises for weight loss improve your physical well-being, but they also boost your mental health. A routine can improve a person’s mood and may reduce feelings of anxiety. If someone is suffering from depression, an hour of exercising in warm water can improve symptoms.
The water is great for putting the mind at ease. Some people can get a better night’s sleep, which is helpful for those with insomnia. Water aerobics also can leave you feeling competent and confident.
Getting Started With Water Exercise
If you decide to do some water exercises, you might be wondering what equipment you will need. Aquatic classes usually provide any equipment you will need. For example, some places have water treadmills and bicycles. All you will need to bring are a swimsuit, goggles, a towel, and a swim cap if desired.
Some people choose to go solo, so they should look into what gear they should have. Foam dumbbells become heavy when they enter the water to work out your arm muscles. Ankle and wrist weights help with resistance training. Other pieces of equipment that will help you get started include a kickboard and hand paddles.
As you begin planning your full-body workout routine, you might want to start with some of these water exercises:
A great way to begin a workout is by simply walking in the water. You can test how you move against the resistance of the water. Start by entering the shallow end of a pool. Then, get to an area where the water is at your waist.
As you walk around, swing your arms back and forth. You should put pressure on the heels first and then the toes. It is important to avoid tiptoeing. The exercise targets the lower body, core, and arms. You can keep going for 5-10 minutes. Gradually move to the deep end until the water reaches your shoulders. You’ll be surprised how much more of a workout water walking in vs. land walking!
Another water exercise to help you on your health journey is a set of jumping jacks. Jumping jacks work on the upper and lower parts of the body. Wrist and ankle weights will add some resistance if you want to make it challenging. With your muscles working harder, you can burn quite a bit of calories.
Begin by standing in the water at chest level. Have your feet together and arms by your side. Move your legs out when you jump and place your hands above your head. Return to the starting position when you jump again. You can perform 1-3 sets of 8-12 jumping jacks.
If you want to work on your core and legs, you can do some leg kicks. Hold onto the edge of a pool or kickboard. Start flutter-kicking your legs before scissor-kicking them open and closed. Then, do a breaststroke kick and follow it up with dolphin kicks. Try to do each kick for 1-3 minutes.
Creating an effective routine can help you stick with it long-term while on your journey to improved health! Our mission at Dr. Simonds Metabolics & Weight Loss is the prevention, treatment, and reversal of the disease of obesity and its effects using nutritional therapies, behavioral change, physical activity, and medications. Contact us for more information.