I recently added water walking to my exercise routine because 1) I was hoping to give my weight loss a bit of a boost, and 2) I’m still recovering from a meniscus tear a while back, so have been finding it difficult to do the walking I’d like.
What’s cool about water walking (or aqua jogging) is that you can do it as easy or as hard as you like. Since I’m not a fan of chronic cardio, my version is more like treading water in a forward direction ;).
But here’s how it can be done:
Easy peasy weight loss?
So as I mentioned, I’m not exactly tearing it up in the pool. My version of water walking is the opposite of strenuous (takes me a little under 2 minutes to do a 25-yard length of the pool).
I didn’t figure this was going to help out in the weight loss department, so imagine my surprise when my first post-water weigh-in was a 5 lb loss over 2 weeks (I had been averaging 3 lbs for the previous two months). Even more surprising, this weigh-in was after my four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend in Pittsburgh with the family … where I ate dinner out each day.
This got me thinking. The temperature of the pool I swim in is 82 degrees; I had been spending 45-60 minutes in the water 3x a week. And since I wasn’t swimming vigorously creating body heat, perhaps my time in the pool is a more tolerable version of Tim Ferris’ Ice Age bath, leading to increased thermogenesis.
Or maybe not. A study that looked at aqua jogging for the obese showed only minimal changes in weight and fat (alas, among the study’s limitations, they did not look to see if the participants increased their food intake as a result of the exercise).
Me, I’m keeping up with my water walking until I’m able to put in the same amount of time on a hard surface. The one perk of doing it low and slow is that it’s very zen — it’s like part exercise, part meditation ;).
BTW, the pool I swim at makes all of the equipment (e.g., the flotation belt) available to guests. If yours doesn’t, you can buy your own from AquaJogger or on Amazon.
Finally, if there are any ladies out there who are avoiding the pool because they hate the thought of wearing a bathing suit, may I suggest a short-sleeve rash guard top? I got mine from Junonia (with the matching shorts), but Lands End has theirs on sale.