If you have the luxury of having a swimming pool at home or you go to a gym with a pool, you may have heard of aqua aerobics and how they can be very beneficial for those looking to get a good workout without putting as much stress on their joints.
With aqua aerobics, you can get the same amount of physical activity as regular aerobics but in a pool with other people and lots of fun music. In fact, the benefits of aqua aerobics may even outweigh those of regular aerobics for some people.
Depending on your weight and exercise intensity, you’ll burn about 4.4 calories per minute when you do water aerobics, which equals about 264 calories per hour.
Calories Burned Aqua Aerobics Calculator
Calories Burned in Group Fitness Classes (Weight: 175lbs)
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Read on to find out everything you need to know about aqua aerobics and why you might want to train in a pool instead of doing traditional aerobics classes.
How the Calculator Works
The aqua aerobics calculator uses MET values to give you an accurate estimate of how many calories you can expect to burn while doing aqua aerobics. The higher the MET value, the more calories you will burn.
What is a MET?
MET stands for metabolic equivalent of task, and these values allow us to give you an estimated expenditure of energy for many different activities.
A MET value is a ratio between the working metabolic rate and the resting metabolic rate , which is the rate of energy that is used relative to the duration of time spent doing activities such as aqua aerobics.
So a MET value of 1 is the equivalent of the amount of energy you expend while at rest, and a MET value of 3 means you are expending 3 times as much energy compared to being at rest.
Almost all activities that you can think of have MET values assigned to them. Some activities with MET values are common, and some are not so common. For example, there are MET values assigned to activities like martial arts, juggling, and even meditating!
Most activities come with varying levels of intensity and have different MET values assigned to them. However, water aerobics has a single MET value of 3.2.
The formula that our aqua aerobics calculator uses to determine the number of calories burned per minute is (body weight in Kg x MET x 3.5) ÷ 200.
A person weighing 175 pounds will burn approximately 264 calories per hour from aqua aerobics. As we mentioned, this activity has a MET of 3.2, which means that it burns about 3 times as many calories compared to being at rest.
This is what the formula for calculating the calories burned while doing aqua aerobics will look like for a 175-pound individual at a MET value of 3.2.
- Calories burned (per minute) = (body weight in kg x MET x 3.5) ÷ 200
- Calories burned (per minute) = ( 79.4 x 3.2 x 3.5 ) ÷ 200
- Calories burned (per minute) = 4.4 calories x 60
- Calories burned (per hour) = 264 calories per hour
What is Aqua Aerobics?
Aqua aerobics encompasses many different aerobic workouts that are done in water such as in a swimming pool. While less common, you can do aqua aerobics in any body of water including the ocean, lake, or bay.
This is a type of resistance training that is done in water that typically doesn’t exceed the shoulders. Most of these types of classes are done in fitness clubs with pools with participants going through a series of exercises led by an instructor.
Since aqua aerobics adds the effect of water resistance and buoyancy, cardiac training can be more intense than regular aerobics and burn more calories in the process.
Aqua aerobics can include several different styles of classes. For example, the most common types of aqua aerobics include:
- Aqua cycling
- Water pole dancing
- Aqua jogging
- Standing water push-ups
- Pool walking
- Treading water
Much like regular aerobics, this type of class comes with pop music that helps to energize you and keep your heartbeat elevated.
Aqua aerobics includes all the same exercises you would do in a regular aerobics class with some added benefits.
Water aerobics have been shown to force the body to pump more blood into the heart than land-based aerobics. In addition, aqua aerobics can reduce blood pressure, which was shown in a 12-week study on participants in a water aerobics program .
One of the most appealing reasons that many people choose aqua aerobics is because they are very easy on the joints. When you jump, run, or do other aerobic movements, your joints are forced to absorb much of the ground’s impact.
Water aerobics uses buoyancy, which puts much less stress on your bones and joints. This makes water aerobics ideal for those with weak bones or people that are prone to injuries that come from running or jumping, like shin splints.
You may think that water aerobics isn’t great for putting on strength, but you would be wrong. Aqua aerobics doesn’t use dumbbells or heavy barbells, but the water provides extra resistance, which will help to build strength in your muscles.
As you might have guessed, water aerobics is also a great way to burn a significant number of calories. Keep reading to find out exactly how many calories you can expect to burn with water aerobics.
Best Aqua Aerobics Workouts
When doing aqua aerobics, you can follow the instructor during the class or you can do it on your own. Below are some of the best exercises you can do on your own with aqua aerobics.
Pool walking provides many benefits for those that choose to do this exercise, including strengthening your knees, muscles, and improving sleep. When you walk in water, you also reduce the impact on your joints that you may get from regular walking.
It’s important to use your upper body when pool walking. You should continue to put one foot in front of the other while walking through the pool, and the water should be about chest level. You should swing your arms back and forth to get an upper body workout at the same time.
If walking in chest-level water is too taxing for you, you can reduce the resistance by walking in more shallow water. If you want more of a challenge, you can carry pool weights which increase resistance as you walk through the pool.
You may be wondering how you can possibly skip rope in a pool. But this exercise is easy to do with a hollow pool noodle and gives you the same cardio benefits of jumping rope without putting stress on your hip joints and knees.
To skip rope in the pool, you should stand in water that is at your shoulders and hold one end of the hollow pool noodle in each hand.
Then you’ll bring the noodle in front of your body with your arms relaxed and sweep the noodle under your body while jumping and tucking your knees into your chest.
Treading water for long periods of time is incredibly hard to do, and it provides a great workout for those that do it in aqua aerobics. Treading water also works your entire body and you can expect to put on some strength from this exercise.
To tread water, you should start in water that is chin-level and keep your arms at your sides. You then paddle your arms in front of your body and start to kick your legs until your body rises off the bottom of the pool. Continue to paddle your arms without letting your feet touch the bottom.
If you want to make treading water even harder, you can wear a pair of webbed gloves for intense cardio and upper body challenge.
More Calorie Calculators
Try out our other calorie-based calculators below.
- Calories Burned Pilates
- Calories Burned Yoga
- Calories Burned Walking
- Calories Burned Running
- Calories Burned Hiking
- Calories Burned Elliptical
- Calories Burned Weightlifting
- Calories Burned Jump rope
- Calories Burned Playing Badminton
- Calories Burned Backpacking
- Calories Burned Chopping Wood
- Calories Burned From Archery
- Calorie Deficit Calculator
The Bottom Line
While water aerobics isn’t as popular as other forms of aerobic exercise, this can be a great option for those that have access to a pool or people that have issues when putting a lot of stress on their bones and joints.
There are plenty of different types of aqua aerobics that you can do, so be sure to check with your local gym to see what types of classes they offer.
Use our aqua aerobics calculator to get an idea of how many calories you can expect to burn, and be sure to check out all the other calculators that we have to offer at Fitness Volt!
- Pereira Neiva H, Brandão Faíl L, Izquierdo M, Marques MC, Marinho DA. The effect of 12 weeks of water-aerobics on health status and physical fitness: An ecological approach. PLoS One. 2018 May 31;13(5):e0198319. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0198319. PMID: 29851998; PMCID: PMC5978883.
- Jetté, M., Sidney, K., & Blümchen, G. (1990). Metabolic equivalents (METS) in exercise testing, exercise prescription, and evaluation of functional capacity. Clinical cardiology, 13(8), 555–565. https://doi.org/10.1002/clc.4960130809