Pools are more than refreshing summer pit stops. There's actual fat burning potential in that crystal blue chlorine. The next time you dip into your gym's pool, ramp up your workout with some water exercises that burn calories and shed fat for a whole-body workout. Further, challenge your swim with weighted and webbed aquatic gear for added resistance.
According to Community and Individual Wellness Specialist and certified personal trainer, MaryBeth Pappas Baun, water jogging burns around 11 calories a minute. Yet, if you add winged foot paddles, Pappas Baun notes you'll burn more calories twice the calories. Adding what she calls water walkers to your feet -- flexible fins will do in a pinch -- increases the resistance. And to work you glutes, abs and hip flexors, strap on a flotation belt or vest. Those muscle groups will work double time dealing with the added buoyancy.
Sometimes the easiest simplest method is the best. With swimming, just diving in and doing some laps is an efficient form of exercise. You can burn up to 270 calories just swimming 30 minutes at a moderate pace, notes Dr. Elizabeth Applegate, nutrition and sports author and lecturer. In her book, "Encyclopedia of Sports & Fitness Nutrition," Applegate notes that if you just pick up the pace, you can burn nearly 340 calories in the same time. Ending your gym workout with a 30-minute lap swim can cool you off and burn fat.
If you're familiar with kickboxing moves, move your routine to the shallow end. Doing so can burn up to 500 calories an hour, according to "Fitness" writer Lara McGlashan. Keeping those kicks and jabs in chest-deep water adds resistance and buoyancy, which helps limit the impact these moves have on the body. Then ramp it up by strapping on ankle and wrist weights. Try these on-land moves, such as jab and kicks, in water by keeping your moves below the water's surface. Try a glute tightening front kick by standing in chest deep water with your feet hip-width apart. Assume a fighting stance with your fists drawn up to your chest. Shift your weight to your left foot while extending your right leg in a forward kick. Do three sets of 10 front kicks, or until you're fatigued.
Surely, you remember those grueling physical fitness jumping jacks from your youth. In the pool where is there's no hot asphalt or overbearing gym teacher, those jittery jacks are a bit more bearable. Water jumping jacks work like their surface counter parts, toning your delts, traps, abductors, adductors, abs and calves. A cardio mainstay, jumping jacks are great for getting the heart pumping and calories burning. To do them in the water, find a spot where the water is at least chest level. Make sure you can touch the bottom at all times. Wearing non-slip swim shoes may help.
Having studied at two top Midwestern universities, Catherine Field holds degrees in professional writing and patient safety. Writing since 2000, Field has worked with regional newspapers while publishing fiction online. She conducts medical communication research at a Midwestern medical institution and is slated to write a book based on her research findings.