As the obesity rate continues to rise at an alarming rate in both adults and children it seems more and more "diets," "weight loss secrets" and "exercise fads" surface. The weight loss industry is a multi-million dollar business that tempts us with promises and easy solutions for quick results, yet sadly, people still can't seem to shift the weight and are feeling more misinformed than ever.
According to the most recent New Zealand Health Survey, 1.2 million New Zealanders are obese. That is three in every 10 adults and one in nine children. The NZ Herald reported that doctors are developing protocols to refer obese children to Child, Youth and Family (CYF) protection services if their parents ignore medical advice to help their children lose weight. We all recognize something has to be done, but what?
It is a well known fact, that in addition to focusing on diet and nutrition, exercising is just as important - you can't out run a bad diet after-all. However, exercise for someone who is extremely overweight comes with it's own risk. Workouts involving movements such as running or jumping can put harmful stress on joints, bones and muscles, resulting in injury and preventing exercise altogether. This can result in a feeling of depression, and thus the vicious weight gain cycle continues.
Whilst everyone is different and there is no "one-size fits all" solution to diet or exercise, there is more and more research that demonstrates that light-intensity aquatic exercise with minimal impact, combined with the hydrostatic pressure of water can not only assist with weight loss, but may have enhanced recovery on injuries and muscle soreness, making it easier for people to workout on a long-term basis.
Because of waters unloading properties, exercising in the water significantly reduces the stress on joints, bones and muscles, making it a very safe and effective way to workout for all ages and abilities. For those who are overweight, have arthritis or just want to cross train to reduce the pounding of land based exercise, aquatic training could be just the answer they have been looking for.
Aquatic training boasts many benefits including weight loss, increased strength and endurance along with improved balance, mobility and flexibility. Because of it's viscosity, water provides more resistance than air, and in all directions. Aquatic workouts therefore provide 360 degrees of resistance, meaning muscles are constantly being worked. Having the support of water also helps individuals achieve movements and positions that may not be achievable on land which helps improve functional fitness and performance in sports and every day activities.
Aquatic exercise is ideal for those who are overweight, in-fact, it can literally take a weight off their shoulders. When performing exercises chest deep in water, you only weigh 30% of your total body weight making you feel lighter, and allowing you to perform exercise easier. A typical 30 minute Aquastrength workout can burn up to 300 calories, and better yet, the hydrostatic pressure of the water can also enhance recovery on muscle soreness after training, meaning users are not in too much pain to workout the following day.
Water is the great equalizer. It does not discriminate. Whilst some people may dread putting on their swimsuit, they must remember that everyone looks the same in 4 feet of water!