Having a bit of belly flab might not concern you when you're at home and dressed in your sweats, but it's a different story altogether when you're trying to slip into a formal dress for your best friend's wedding. Regular exercise is an effective way to melt away fat to build a thin belly, and access to a pool gives you a way to burn calories with minimal impact to your joints. If you aren't comfortable with swimming, jumping up and down in the pool can be a vigorous workout.
Belly Fat Loss
It would certainly be convenient to find an exercise that specifically allows you to burn belly fat, but such a workout doesn't exist. The American Council on Exercise warns you won't burn fat in a desired area just by working the surrounding muscles. Instead, an exercise such as jumping around in the pool will burn calories to lead to fat loss in multiple areas of your body, provided you exercise on a regular basis and watch your diet to put your body in a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit of 3,500 calories results in the loss of one pound of fat.
Water Exercise Calories Burned
Exercising in water can help you burn calories rapidly because the water provides resistance for your movements. For example, kicking a leg upward as you jump requires more exertion in the water than on land. The calories you'll burn jumping up and down in the water depends on exactly how you move. Harvard Health Publications notes that a 155-pound person burns 149 calories in half an hour of water aerobics, which often includes such movements as jumping. The same person burns 112 calories in 30 minutes of water volleyball, which is a sport full of jumping.
Water Exercise Benefits
Consistent aerobic exercise leads to a multitude of health benefits, including burning fat and strengthening your muscles, but working out in the water is ideal for many people. Water-based workouts provide less of an impact than many land-based exercises, making the water a suitable exercise medium for those with joint pain. The website Spine-Health.com reports that exercising in water can also help boost your flexibility while alleviating the pain you might experience while exercising on land.
If you're committed to losing overall body fat -- including the fat around your belly -- by jumping in the water, the key is performing the workout frequently. A minimum of 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week can have you on your way toward fat loss, and aiming for 300 minutes of exercise each week can often provide quicker results. Don't solely rely on your workout to help you lose weight. Cut your caloric intake by making adjustments to your diet, including avoiding saturated fats and foods high in sugar.
- American Council on Exercise: Why is the Concept of Spot Reduction Considered a Myth?
- ExRx.net: Fat Loss & Weight Training Myths
- MayoClinic.com: Exercise for Weight Loss: Calories Burned in 1 Hour
- Spine-Health: Low-Impact Aerobic Exercise
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- American Council on Exercise: Trimming Off the Fat
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.