Most people understand that exercise is important for weight loss and promotes a healthy lifestyle. But for those who are overweight, especially severely overweight, exercise can be difficult and even painful. It can be frustrating to hear that you need to exercise to lose weight when exercising feels impossible. The solution to this frustrating cycle can be found in water. Aqua jogging, using motivating programs like Fluid Running, is changing the outlook for thousands of people struggling to lose weight.
According to recent statistics, nearly three-quarters of American men and more than 60% of women in the U.S. are overweight. Furthermore, a new government study estimates that almost 80 percent of adult Americans do not get the recommended amounts of exercise each week, potentially setting themselves up for years of health problems. Obesity is a common, serious, and costly disease.
EXERCISE IS MEDICINE
Regular physical activity has many health benefits and is an essential factor in weight loss and maintaining an ideal weight. Most importantly, physical activity reduces the risks of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes. Exercise also boosts mood and is recommended for those who suffer from depression. But if the medicine “hurts”, meaning by doing so, it creates significant pain, then people often won’t “take their medicine”. Excessive weight applies more pressure on joints, tendons and muscles, often causing significant pain.
UNIQUE BENEFIT OF WATER FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Water is the perfect medium for exercise, particularly for obese or overweight people. Consider its physical properties of water: density, buoyancy, hydrostatic pressure, viscosity, and thermodynamics. These are among the greatest weapons in the weight loss arsenal for overweight individuals. Here’s why.
Unload your joints:
If carrying excess weight has made exercise on land painful, the opposite is true in water. Due to its density, water acts as a counterbalance to gravity and explains why we float. Density eliminates the effect of gravity and body weight on joints. As such, water offers a workout solution for those wanting to exercise for weight loss who have been precluded from it because of pain.
Buoyancy is closely related to density. An object immersed in water displaces the water which creates buoyancy. Buoyancy results in less pressure applied to the immersed joints. Therefore, if you immerse your body to neck-depth, only the weight of your head is exerted on your body. Because Fluid Running, or aqua jogging, is done in deep water, it eliminates the gravitational pressure on the body. This allows for greater range of motion and less back, hip, knee or joint pain. And for those carrying excess weight, this can be a game-changer.
Burn calories and strengthen muscles:
Viscosity has to do with friction when water is moved. When your body is moving in the water it is subjected to the resistance of the water, often called drag or turbulence. Viscosity increases as your movement increases and is the reason why you burn up to 40% more calories running in the water compared to running on land. The extra effort needed to move your body through the water strengthens muscles. It also causes friction requiring you to expend more energy and thereby burn more calories.
Due to its molecular structure, water has a high capacity to maintain a constant temperature. That’s good news while you’re Fluid Running or aqua jogging because our body will adapt to the water temperature rather than vice versa. Given that most pools are 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit, and our average body temperature is approximately 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the water will keep you cool. People who are overweight tend to overheat when exercising, making it extremely uncomfortable. Immersing yourself in water provides the added benefit of maintaining a lower body temperature during exercise.
Achieve Maximum Heart Rate Efficiency
Hydrostatic pressure is the pressure applied to your body by water. When immersed neck-deep in water, hydrostatic pressure pushes blood inward (from the extremities) and upward, and therefore cardiac output (the amount of blood the heart pumps through the circulatory system in one minute) increases. Because the heart is pumping more volume, it can’t pump it out as quickly as it can when on land. Heart rates in deep water average about 10-15 beats per minute lower than on land, even at the same exertion level. Fluid Running, therefore produces maximal heart efficiency because more blood is pumped with each beat and heart rates are actually lower. This is good for your cardiovascular system!
Aqua Jogging using the Fluid Running System
Fluid Running is a system that teaches you how to properly run in deep water and provides motivational audio workouts to instruct you and keep you engaged and working hard. A flotation belt is provided to help you stay upright and maintain form in the deep water. Bluetooth waterproof headphones allow you to listen to the app-based workouts, which are music-backed and instructor-led. Beyond running, Fluid Running workouts incorporate several other movements that challenge other muscle groups and keep the workouts interesting. Muscles of the legs, glutes, arms, and core are all engaged in a Fluid Running workout. It’s a workout that eliminates the jarring impact you feel on land, helping you jumpstart a fitness routine, that with weight loss, may lead to incorporating land-based exercise. It combines strength training and cardio because the density and viscosity of the water require you to work harder than on land. Hydrostatic pressure helps with blood circulation and maximum heart rate efficiency. And the cooler temperature of water keeps you from overheating while burning calories.
Multiple studies have shown a significant decrease in the percentage of body fat after eight weeks of aquatic training. One such study examined the effects of deep water exercise on body fat composition of younger (age 22-32) and middle-aged (age 44-60) women. The results were amazing. All subjects achieved significant reductions in body fat following the 8-week program, with decreases of 11.9% for the young and 5.8% for the older participants.
The importance of exercise is indisputable for our overall well being. But often the pain and discomfort of carrying extra pounds make it difficult to get started or keep at it. Weight-bearing exercise is often not possible leaving the person frustrated and hopeless. Fluid Running, or aqua jogging can open the door to exercise because water provides the perfect medium to eliminate the pain associated with excess weight. And with the evidence showing significant overall health and weight benefits, it’s the perfect exercise to begin the journey of a stronger, fitter, healthier lifestyle.