Water Exercises for Weight Loss

Aquatic fitness is perhaps one of the best kept secrets of the fitness world. The benefits to working out in the water are endless!

Not only does exercising in the water burn huge amounts of calories, but it is better for your limbs and joints because of its low impact. As opposed to running or walking, which can jostle your joints, water's buoyancy allows the limbs to float and move without the same impact of hitting pavement or a treadmill. However, the pressure of the water increases the resistance the body faces during workouts, allowing aquatic fitness participants to burn even more calories for more simple movements.  

Aquatic exercisers can do aerobic workouts as well as cardio in the water, allowing them to not only shed pounds but also tone major muscle groups for an improved overall look as well. Plus, the coolness of the water allows you to regulate your body temperature and keeps you from becoming overheated during you workout.

All of this combined makes water exercise one of the very best ways to work out and lose weight. Fitness buffs and people who haven't hit the gym in a while can both enjoy tremendous benefits from this workout; take a look at our water fitness exercise list for some of our favorite workouts to get you toned and trim.

Running  - This classic exercise has gone aquatic. Running in the water allows you to get your heart rate up, work out the same muscles as running on land, but with the added resistance of moving through water. Some water joggers use a flotation device to keep their feet from hitting the floor of the pool as they propel themselves forward for the lowest possible joint impact, while others just run on the pool ground.

Aerobics - Although the cliche image of water aerobics is that it's only for senior citizens, it is actually a fantastic way for athletes of all ages to get a great workout. Water aerobics gets your heart rate up and help you tone specific muscle groups, all of which work together to help you lose weight and look better.

Yoga - By incorporating many of the poses, stretches, and lifts involved in most yoga and pilates routines into your water workout, you can double their impact. Performing squats, leg lifts, and balancing exercises in the water works your core muscle groups and burns calories.

Treading water - This most basic water "exercise" is actually one of the best workouts you can get! By keeping your arms and legs in constant motion to keep yourself afloat, you get your heart rate moving fast and taking your workout to an optimal level where you burn fat and lose weight.

Boxing - To tone arms and legs, many aquatic fitness buffs do boxing workouts under water to take advantage of the increased resistance. Doing kicks and punches under water allows for crosstraining with other, more cardio-focused workout routines.

Leg lifts - Maximize your water work out by using your buoyancy to do workouts you can't do on land. By holding on to a flotation device, you can keep your feet together and lift your legs into a seated position as though you were in a chair. This works out your abdominal muscles and upper leg muscles. Standard leg lifts also utilize the buoyancy of the pool to work your leg muscles.

Medicine ball workouts - Floating in the water with a medicine ball can be an excellent workout. Holding a medicine ball while rolling on your back, and lifting the medicine ball with arms under water, can both provide a fantastic, toning workout.

Going in the deep end - Although most aquatic exercises take place in more shallow water, where water comes to above chest-height, working out in the deep end can add a challenge that will do wonders for weight loss. While performing basic land workout routines like jogging and sit-ups, you get a high-impact workout by staying off the pool floor. Remember: always use flotation devices when in the deep end, since tiring out can increase your risk of danger and not being able to swim to safety.

Caught the water exercise bug? Make it your career! By becoming a personal trainer, you can spend your days helping other people discover the power of working out and making their bodies healthier. You can specialize in any field that you wish - like aquatic fitness! - and take on a roster of clients. Personal trainers not only get to stay in shape themselves from their work, but they get to help others achieve their weight loss goals and create healthier futures.

Water exercise isn't just for losing weight; it can be useful for dealing with all kinds of body issues, including recovering from an injury. Trained occupational therapists and assistants use the water to help people with major injuries begin to move their bodies again. Because it is so low impact, water fitness is one of the favored methods of these professionals.

Water fitness is for people of all ages, body types, and fitness levels; give it a try and you may discover your favorite new way to lose any excess weight!