Exer­cise phys­i­ol­o­gist Alice Bur­ron, MS, spokesper­son for Amer­i­can Coun­cil on Exer­cise (ACE), touts water aer­o­bics as the ulti­mate work­out for women. And that swim­ming and weight loss often go hand in hand.

Water pro­vides up to 20 times more resis­tance than air, which allows you to get a work­out with­out get­ting injured,” the fit­ness expert explains.  Like any oth­er exer­cise, the inten­si­ty at which you move, and there­fore your heart rate deter­mines exact­ly how effec­tive at calo­rie burn­ing your work­out will be.  But to be sure, adding a water rou­tine to your fit­ness reg­i­men will tur­bo-charge your efforts to slim down and get in shape. Many being a pro­gram of swim­ming and weight loss soon fol­lows.

Don’t feel com­fort­able doing water aer­o­bics? Then just swim. A 150-pound woman swim­ming at a mod­er­ate pace for half an hour burns about 270 calories—about the same as a whole hour of brisk walk­ing. Swim­ming also works both upper and low­er body mus­cles.  So no mat­ter what you choose, adding the ele­ment of water great­ly increas­es the effec­tive­ness of your work­out.

There are also ben­e­fits if you have found your­self side­lined by an injury.

Water is the per­fect place to reha­bil­i­tate injuries by keep­ing impact low but effort high,” says Bur­ron. “Water aer­o­bics improves range of motion and flex­i­bil­i­ty.”

Here are some effec­tive water-aer­o­bic moves that Bur­ron loves. You can find even more ideas for swim­ming pool exer­cise here.

1. Around the World

This exer­cise tar­gets your core, includ­ing the abdom­i­nals, obliques and back mus­cles, while pro­vid­ing an aer­o­bic chal­lenge. You are essen­tial­ly doing crunch­es “around the world.”

Exer­cise: Start by tread­ing water with your body in an upright posi­tion and your arms mov­ing out to the sides to keep your head above the water. Stretch your legs straight for­ward then bring knees to chest. Extend your legs out to side (body is now upright and not face up), then bring legs back into a tuck (knees to chest posi­tion). Extend your legs straight behind you then tuck legs to chest. Extend legs straight out to the oth­er side (you are again upright), then tuck knees in. Stretch legs straight in front again. Repeat “around the world” for 10 to 20 rep­e­ti­tions.

2. Cross Coun­try

Work your arms and legs and pump up your heart rate with this move.

Exer­cise: Start­ing with your feet on the bot­tom of the pool and water up to your shoul­ders, alter­nate arms and legs as if cross coun­try ski­ing (right arm out and left leg out then switch). Reach and extend arms far behind body and in front of body for max­i­mum work­out. Per­form for up to 10 min­utes.

3. Tucks

You’ll use a pool noo­dle for this abdom­i­nal and aer­o­bic exer­cise.

Exer­cise: Place noo­dle behind upper back, bring­ing the ends in front of you, and hold on towards the ends of the noo­dle with your hands, keep­ing your head and shoul­ders above the water. Start with your legs out straight and toes point­ed, then tuck knees to chest. Hold 2 sec­onds and extend legs straight. Repeat for 2 to 5 min­utes or until fatigued.

Try tucks with­out the noo­dle for max­i­mum work­out. For vari­ety, turn bel­ly-side down, hang­ing on to the pool wall, and tuck knees to chest.

As with any work­out, cool down after­wards with a few leisure­ly laps around the pool. Start swim­ming and weight loss may soon be yours.

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