Pool Exercises for Weight Loss & Flat Abs: Full Body Workout for Obese
Pool exercises are the best skeletal, cardio, pulmonary workout one can do. Pool exercises for weight loss give you a full body workout. The main advantage is that pool exercises are remarkably easy on the joints but very effective for burning calories and strengthening your muscle. They also have many health benefits.
Cardio exercises are those that use rhythmic movement using large muscle groups that increase the heart rate and raise the body temperature, which in turn causes your body to burn calories. Swimming is a low impact and non-weight bearing cardio exercise. Therefore, it is very helpful for people with limitations due to obesity and those having a limited range of motion issues and other injuries. The buoyancy effect leads to much lower stress on joints and, therefore, lower pain. This allows you to continue swimming for longer.
Along with a low-fat diet, aquatic exercises are good for people who cannot do weight-bearing exercises like running or jogging. The resistance of the water gives you a complete body workout.
Pool exercises improve balance and strength. Ideally doing 30-60 minutes three to four times a week can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, lower bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol and lowering blood pressure.
Consult your physical therapist before doing any new exercise regime. Warm-up and stretch your body for a few minutes before entering the pool. Start slowly, gradually increasing your time to the recommended 60-90 minutes of exercises a day. The use of noodles, tables, water weights and ankle weights adds resistance to your routine. These resisted exercises improve joint mobility and muscle power. Apart from adding resistance, you can also increase the lap speed to raise the heart rate. 4-5 days of swimming sessions each lasting 60-90 minutes can lead to sustained weight loss.
Aqua fitness exercises such as backstroke or breaststroke burn the same amount of calories as a slow jog or fast walk. Therefore, people who are obese can add swimming to their fitness routine as an excellent way to lose weight. It can be very helpful for obese patients suffering with osteoarthritis who cannot engage in other physical activities such as walking or jogging without badly hurting their knee or hip joints.
Pool Exercises for Weight Loss
You can burn lots of calories in the pool even without swimming. Check these pool exercises for weight loss.
Health benefits of pool exercises for weight loss
Pool exercises are low-impact activities that take the pressure off your joints and bones. The natural resistance that water offers helps to strengthen your muscles. Even if one doesn’t know swimming, just simple walking in the shallow end of the pool can suffice.
You could start with water walking. In water that is waist high, walk through the pool moving your arms as one does during natural walking motion. Avoid tiptoeing. Keep your back straight. Tighten your abdominal muscles to avoid leaning forward or to one side.
Aquatic exercises are beneficial in different conditions such as:
- Obesity: Aquatic exercises are extremely useful for reducing weight and eliminating obesity. Swimming burns many calories because many different body parts are involved in the process. You can burn up to 700 or 800 calories in just one hour of swimming.
- Muscular Strength: People who perform aquatic exercises regularly have a healthy heart and good muscle strength. Obese people can heal bone and muscular injuries in their body more efficiently through such exercises.
- Stress relief: This aerobic workout can help you relax and enhance your energy levels. Many people find that they become free from stress after a good swimming session.
- Pregnancy: Aquatic exercises strengthens both the abdominal and upper and lower extremities, which is a very useful form of exercise for pregnant women. Therefore, water exercises can help relieve joint pain and other discomforts associated with pregnancy.
- Back Pain: Because swimming does not exert pressure on the connective tissues of the body, it is a good sport for people with physical disabilities. Aquatic exercises can also give relief to people suffering from back pain or arthritis.
- Reduced risk of injuries
- Increased muscular strength and endurance
- Enhances peripheral circulation
- Improvements in flexibility
- Provides an enjoyable activity
- Provides a recreational activity
- Offers an opportunity to socialize
- Can be the “springboard” for other exercises and activities
Aquatic Exercise and Balenotherapy in musculoskeletal conditions; Verhagen, Arianne P, Cardoso Jefferson R, Bierma-Zeinstra, Sita M.A.; Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology, Volume 26 (3) – June 1, 2012
About the author: Dr Kaleem Mohammed is a licensed physiotherapist associated with HealthClues. He is passionate about helping patients with physiotherapy treatment needs.