Anyone who’s ever tried to lose weight can tell you how difficult it can be. If you have special concerns, such as joint problems or obesity, it can be harder still. After all, how can you exercise effectively if you have to avoid even low-impact activities, such as walking? A long-term commitment to exercise is one of the keys to weight loss, so it’s important to find something that you can do to shed those pounds safely.
Thankfully, there are many options to help you reach your goals. One of these is using hydrotherapy and water exercises.
Exercising in water is a great way to not only lose weight, but also to strengthen your muscles due to resistance and strengthen your heart and lungs thanks to aerobic activity. Read on to find out more about the benefits of water exercise and how to start shedding pounds.
Water Exercise is Low-Impact
When you are chest-deep in water, your body is 80% weightless. Only needing to bear 20% of your weight takes a lot of strain off your body. Therefore, any jogging, walking or other impact exercises will likely not cause you injuries when done underwater. This is because stress on bones and joints is greatly reduced. It’s ideal for people with back or knee problems, the elderly, and those new to exercise. Plus, it’s a lot of fun.
Water Exercise Strengthens Your Heart
Any aerobic exercise works your heart. The great thing about doing so underwater is that you get a great cardiovascular workout that does not stress the rest of your body at the same time. In addition, you are not limited to simply swimming laps to get this benefit. You can run on an underwater treadmill, play pool games, or take organized classes like water Zumba and still get the heart-healthy benefits.
Resistance Training is Built In
You probably know that lifting weights is a good way to add muscle tone. However, did you know that you can strengthen your muscles underwater as well? Water adds resistance; just moving through it takes an effort that works your muscles.
Try cupping your hands and moving them through the water to see how difficult it can be. You can also add equipment such as paddles to increase the resistance. You’ll get the benefit of lifting weights without having to actually pump iron.
Underwater Exercise Burns Calories
OK, so when it comes down to it, you want to burn a lot of calories for weight loss. Water aerobics is very effective at torching calories. According to a calculator at Spark People, if you weigh 150 pounds and do water aerobics for one hour, you will burn 264 calories. The great thing about this type of exercise is because it is so much fun, you may not even realize how fit you are becoming.
Take The Plunge
Now that you know all the benefits of water exercise, it’s time to jump in with both feet. Visit your local health club or YMCA to try out some classes. There should be a warm-up session, followed by both cardiovascular and muscle-conditioning exercises, with a cool-down and stretch at the end.
You may need to experiment with different classes to find your favorite. Whatever the workout, if it is underwater, you are sure to enjoy the benefits of a low-impact activity plus the calorie burn!
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