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Aquatic Noodle Gym
Why Does One Size NOT Fit All?
Water Exericise - The Wave of the Future
Deep H20 Training (DWT)
Aquafit Stretching
Managing a Healthy Weight & Exercise
Tackling Weight Management - Where To Start?
Games & Teamwork
Reviewing Common Hip Problems
Mind Body Fitness Connection
Aqua Fitness Equipment Overload
Exercise in the Water Gym
How To Create Variations or Movement Ideas
The Energy Balance Equation
You Asked Us About Calorie Burning
Different Strokes for Different Folks
Shape Up and Water Train
Understanding Pre & Post Natal Fitness
New Instructors Coming to Water Fitness
The Healing Benefits of Water Exercise
Success with a Land Chair Exercise Program
Music - keeps people moving!
Aquatic Fitness Interval Training
Healthy Competition
Training the Internal Obliques with Water Fitness
The A to Z Resolutions for 2016
Happiness is .... Fun in the Water
Try Some Exercise in the Water Gym
Why WaterART Muscle Works!
What is Functional Movement ?
Specificity of Training -What is this?
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You Asked Us About Calorie Burning

You Asked Us About Burning Calories
(A Letter Written to us)
Dear WaterART:
 A student recently asked me a question: "How many calories per cardio session of water fitness do you burn?"
I generally teach 45 to 50 minutes of cardio for my conditioned population. I know that water fitness gives resistance of 12 to 14x's more than on land but I haven't a clue about calories I attempted looking it up and was unsuccessful.
Can you please help me out? I am sure this is in one of my many books and I should know this, but I have never even thought of it. I am not a calorie counting advocate. I believe in moderation and portion control. 
Laura C. Florida.
Dear Laura:
Calculating the number of calories that you “exactly” burn during one session may greatly vary depending on so many factors.
This would be very difficult ( like checking how much muscle mass and body fat a person has exactly) because unless the person is hooked up to very expensive equipment  (which most of our facilities do not have access to) we would have to give our best guess.
However, to provide our patrons with a “general” idea, we may say that a good intensity program will yield approximately 400 kilocalories
of energy expenditure / hour ( working at an average of 4.2 METS of energy which is a working at an intensity of a brisk walk).
Working harder will always burn more calories; however, intensity may create more injuries if someone is not trained nor skilled.
So we always caution a client to progress their exercise program safely.
Helping a client to understand intensity or what a MET is may be difficult. A MET (metabolic equivalent) and if someone has never exercised their idea of hard
may be a light intensity of a trained individual.
Assume that 1 MET of intensity is very light and research says that water exercise may range from 4 - 13 METS yet the average person is working usually only at
4.2 METS. We often see people floating or talking which would be about 1-2 METS and would yield significantly less caloric expenditure per hour than working
at 5 METS ( equivalent to a a light run on land) . So that may need to be one of our goals to help them learn to work more intense ( in a safe way).
To achieve a healthy weight management there needs to be a deficit of caloric expenditure on a regular basis. Consuming a mere 100 calories per day
– results in 10 pounds of added weight at the end of the year!  
The goal for exercise caloric expenditure as recommended by the American Council on Exercise says that
1.      Minimal thresholds of 300 kcal per exercise session performed three days per week.
2.      Minimal thresholds of 200 kcal per session done four days per week. 
This suggests a weekly threshold of 800 to 900 exercise kcal per week. 
A reasonable approach in prescribed exercise programs is to target a weekly caloric expenditure of approximately 1000 kcal. Then to achieve optimal physical
activity levels, as health and fitness permit, the goal would be to raise the weekly expenditure closer to 2000 kcal.  So a person may choose if they prefer to do 4 x 250kcal exercise sessions or 3 x 333 kcal exercise sessions ( for 1000 kcal expenditure per week). Some people take 40 minutes to expend that energy whereas others may take 60 minutes. A person expends more energy at a greater intensity. However, an de-conditioned person should not add intensity prior to duration.
Metabolism is most often measured by determining the oxygen consumed (indirect method). Heat production can be determined from the oxygen consumed
and is expressed as kilocalories (kcal). The consumption of 1 litre of oxygen is equal to approximately 5 kcal.
"If you gain 1KG (2.2lb) of muscle mass you will
burn 40 calories more per day just by breathing - this amounts to 280 c/wk and 1120 c/month. Adding exercise to a day will account for a higher number
of calories being burned because metabolism will be given an extra jolt. However, the factors affecting just how many calories can be expended by
additional muscle mass and exercise is controlled by individual metabolism, genetic make-up and the individual's level of fitness. "
Resting or, basal metabolism, is the collective metabolism of the body while at rest. Some with more muscle mass will have a great metabolism
as compared to someone with less lean muscle mass.
Here are some other things to explain for evaluating exercise expenditure.
How hard is the intensity they are working at? Lots of people get in the water and just bob, and bounce and all movements are assisted upwards or too efficient. This requires very little muscle and consequently muscular work. Comparatively speaking, if you work your muscles and resist down against the buoyancy of
the water  (not only will you work more core and muscles) you will actually burn more calories. In other words, try to be inefficient or make your body and
muscles work harder by not streamlining or making movement too easy.  Check in and ask how everyone feels in terms of rate of perceived exertion (RPE).
You don’t have to work hard the entire program, however, being able to talk and in a full sentence ( like a tea party) will not yield the same results as someone
working  as hard as he/she can so that they reach 8 on  RPE scale (indicating they are working hard).
A second factor to consider is a person’s body composition (fat to muscle ratio).  You need muscle to move effectively through the water to create
speed and more resistance.  “Muscle moves and Fat floats". That is why we work on building muscle in the water before we can ever do serious cardio. Educate
your patrons that cardiovascular fitness works the heart and pulmonary system. However, strengthening the muscles will increase your lean muscle mass
(also known as fat free mass) and yield a better metabolism at rest. Often people may utilize 40-50 kcal of energy per day with increasing their lean muscle or
fat free mass. Realize over the course of a week and year – this will add up in huge benefits for caloric expenditure.
What depth of water are they working in?  You can move faster in shallow water because you don’t have much resistance – as you move deeper
it becomes progressively harder to push at any speed. Most people who have added buoyancy (fat) work too deep and therefore cheat or float away.
Even walking their mass through the water will be more beneficial than just floating out to sea (in the deep water).
Are they maintaining an acceptable speed through good ROM?  Or are you doing short quick movements, which give the illusion of hard work?
Little moves will produce little muscles and little work. Always try to encourage people to work through a pain free range of motion to their fullest ability.
Working in short little pulses simply fatigues muscle yet doesn’t maximize the muscular strength benefits.
Are they progressing the program with more resistive work? Are you using aquatic mitts, resistive equipment such as paddles, or buoyant equipment,
such as the barbells or noodles?  Often classes are “acclimatized” to the same equipment (or none). Added new equipment to provide more drag
resistance and challenge may be what they need to kick the intensity (and benefits up a bit).
Which working position do they utilize the most?  Extended working position will allow you to stand tall and train balance and core stability however, will not require much energy- so using this working position for a full class doesn’t make sense.. Utilizing vigorous rebound (with quadriceps and gluteals) to lift the body up out of the water compared to a  “momentum rebound” or bouncing is a great difference with the amount of energy required between the former and the latter example. A Neutral working position or keeping the shoulder under the water, will force you to use a lot more water for resistance while providing protection for the body
and use more muscle for some than others. Lastly, a suspended working position requires great skill to maintain ROM and good body alignment as well as
providing maximum energy expenditure. And if they are too efficient at this (too much body fat) this will not work as effectively as compared to a lean individual.
The best choice will be to use more squats and changes of body positions so that the muscles have to work.
Do They Cross Train?  Like equipment, programs have to be constantly changing. If your group knows your “routine” they become approximately 30%
more efficient! That is a lot of wasted caloric expenditure. There are so many types of water programs, so try to change up your programs frequently!
Maybe one day use noodles, another belts and mitts, and another day more strength with intervals. Add sports flavor or dance salsa fun!
The more you can mix up the programs the less efficient they are or the more calories they will burn. Some people do not like change (OK Most!)
but tell them, the goal is to be 30% more effective at burning calories –so let’s move differently today!  We can’t say this enough,
if their body does the same old program, they are consequently cheating on caloric expenditure.
And the energy in and out balance equation must be factored in. In other words, eat less calories and expend more and you will lose weight. Also choose high nutrition calories (not junk calories). All of those little holiday goodies may add up very quickly.  Don’t deprive yourself of the spirit of the holidays – just choose wisely and realize that exercise is more critical to burn the excess calorie intake.
Naughty or Nice??
WaterART is not advocating what to eat; however, little extra’s may easily sabotage a person’s efforts. Eating “extra’s” yet not burning “extra’s”
over the holidays will add up in excess poundage. For every 3500 calories extra the body will add on approximately one pound of body weight.
 Here is a quick reference chart for Holiday Treats…... 
Better Choices
1 Cup of Eggnog
343 calories
1 glass of Wine or Grape Juice
120 calories
½ Cup of Mixed Nuts
440 calories
Small Plate of Raw Vegetables
25 calories
2 small chocolate cookies
150 calories
Small bowl of Fruit
60 calories
½ cup stuffing
180 calories
2 oz. boiled shrimp with cocktail sauce
80 calories
1 slice Fruit cake
343 calories
Small bowl of Fruit
60 calories
1 slice of apple pie
 410 calories
 1 piece pumpkin pie
120 calories
2 tablespoons of Cheese ball
90 calories
1 celery stalk with cream cheese
45 calories
1 slice of mincemeat pie
330 calories
1 iced gingerbread cookie
100 calories
1 tablespoon dip for chips & chips
53 calories for dip & handful of chips 150 calories
10 Wheat Thins
100 calories
Dieting without Exercise. Many people try quack diets such as the starvation diet. If the person is dieting without exercise, the body will shrink in terms
of water loss, metabolism loss (LMM) yet they will never lose body fat. Only movement will burn calories to burn body fat. The challenge is helping
them to understand lifestyle and that exercise with healthy eating may take several months to change body fat and weight however, diet alone will never burn
body fat nor keep you healthy!  
Therefore, I think all you can tell your participant is: to eat right, exercise often and enjoy life. If they can balance their lifestyle with regular exercise
instead of constantly stepping on the scales (which don’t tell you how fit or fat you are nor how many calories you have consumed or burned) you will feel
a whole lot better about yourself.
Stop worrying about counting every calories or a short term fix. Enjoy each day for what you get out of it, as  you don’t get a second chance.
One of our favorite sayings is "Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery and Today is a gift - that's why we call it the present."
If you have more questions or comments please email us 

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