The definition of obesity is excess fat stored in the body, frequently resulting in a significant health problems. The body cannot store protein or carbohydrates, so the excess is converted to fat and stored. One pound of fat represents about 3,500 excess calories. An individual is considered obese when weight is 20% for men or 25% for women or more over the maximum desirable for their height. When the excess weight begins to interfere with vital functions such as breathing, it is considered morbid obesity. About 5 to 10% of children are obese. Between 13 and 23% of all adolescents are obese; 80% of obese teenagers are likely to grow into obese adults.
Obesity will increase the risk of illness and death due to diabetes, stroke, coronary artery disease, kidney and gallbladder disorders. The more overweight a person is, the higher the risk becomes. Obesity has been implicated in increased incidence of some types of cancer. Common causes include eating more food than the body can use and inadequate physical activity or exercise. However, the accumulation of body fat is not always as simple as calorie in and calorie out; it is thought that genetic factors play a part in the development of obesity.
The location of body fat may contribute more to disease than total body fat. Waist fat is more dangerous than buttock and hip fatty deposits. Studies have shown apple-shaped people or those who carry most of their weight around their abdomen are at greater risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, blood clotting abnormalities, insulin resistance and diabetes. Excess abdominal fat also increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, some cancers and impotence. Women should keep their waists below 35 inches and men below 40 inches to avoid health problems.
Lifestyle Change and Exercise:
Short term dieting will not solve the problems encountered with obesity. In order to take control an obese person must consider making a complete life-style change and staying with it for the rest of their life. This change must include taking a realistic look at their nutritional habits by coming up with a diet they can live with. Additionally exercise must become part of their life style - so it is important to become motivated to join in a program that is enjoyable and can show results. Exercise is instrumental in making a positive change. Helping your patrons to learn tips to fast track their results is key to adherence. Whether land or water exercise - the goal is to keep moving and add more total body movement.
Tips for Success of Weight Loss with Exercise
The most important thing to remember is regular exercise is the best for total caloric expenditure. And exercising more frequently is better. Even shorter sessions in the morning and at night with at least a total of five hours or more exercise per week is recommended. The duration of a program should be either 1 x 40-60 minutes a day or 2 x 30 minute sessions /day. Always be sure to add duration prior to intensity with a workout.
Intensity should be performed at between 40-70% of a person's maximum ( when starting out). Always caution to not add too much intensity too soon. Taking the appropriate time to gradually warm up and prepare the heart, muscles and mind for the exercise bout is key to safety and orientation.
Total body strength training of all the major muscle groups and focusing on the large muscle groups that burn more calories are best. This is most important value of a skilled and Certified Instructor. They may design a more purposeful exercise program. Often squats and arm work may be neatly combined for maximum benefits. Sculpting the muscles is how the client may balance their muscles to prevent injuries as well as change body shape.
Cardiovascular exercise is important for heart health and working on a person's endurance. Typically CV is easier to train however, ideally Intervals are the best way to train. Do a bout that is more intense for 2-3 minutes and then one that is less intense. Intensity is relative to the health history of the participant. A new exerciser will feel that exercise is more tiring and more difficult than someone who is seasoned participant. Cardiovascular training provides “endorphins” or a natural release of happy feelings. This is key to feeling good and wanting to make a positive change.
Enjoyment and Compliance
In order to burn as many calories as possible, the client needs to exercise regularly. They need to have the least amount of pain and muscle soreness and the most amount of enjoyment. The optimal exercise is to increase energy expenditure yet minimize potential for injury. If the exercise hurts or doesn't feel enjoyable someone new to exercise will not sustain a regular exercise program. On land, delayed muscle soreness often feels uncomfortable if the client does too much too soon. In water, pain and muscular soreness may be minimized because of the massage effects of the water and the use of concentric muscular contractions throughout exercise (when there is no equipment involved). Often offering new exercises, some easy land exercises, then some pain relief with some water exercises to follow is a unique option.
The goal of many obese clients is to ultimately gain strength, mobility, and confidence to venture into other fitness venues. Cross training is important to continue fitness improvements, to add enjoyment making it more likely a person will work out. There are multiple low impact and low -moderate intensity programs on land (Chair exercise, functional exercises, ball exercise, walking, step training cycling). In water, there are a multitude of options for low impact and often a client may complete more duration. Again, the goal is to move as much as possible in many different ways so that the body doesn't become adapted to the exercise modality. Research has clearly shown that cross training will yield 30% more caloric expenditure. This is possible within the aquatic environment due to the vast formats of aquatic fitness. Another key consideration for the Instructor to regularly change up the program. The biggest mistake for an Instructor is teaching the same old routine every class. This cheats the exercise of caloric expenditure and there is no way to train every component of fitness and to train the body in one hour class. Variety and progressing a program is important efficacy.
Importance of CV Exercise
Cardiovascular exercise releases “endorphins” a natural “feel good “ chemical into the blood stream. The best form of CV exercise will be low impact. On land, people who are older, overweight or new to exercise should be very careful of any impact activities which place vertical stress and unnecessary wear and tear on the joints. In water, people who are more buoyant (and have more body fat) should avoid bounding, bobbing or using momentum. The body is assisted with upward movement so the goal in water is to work down and utilize the muscles to maximize caloric expenditure. Additionally, if the client goes too deep or goes beyond chest depth, they often will not be able to control the movement or, simply stated they cheat too much with too much buoyancy and body fat. Therefore, ideally, they should be waist to chest depth or weight bearing at 25-50% of the body weight so that the legs have to work. We recommend utilizing a modified rebound working position.
Importance of Interval Training
Even though WaterART exercise is primarily interval training for most programs, it is even more key to provide intervals or bouts of work and rest or recovery for weight management results. The goal of interval training is threefold.
1) do more total work
2) improve resting heart rate, and
3) gradually increase the fitness level by utilizing more overload and intensity.
Terms related to Interva Training:
Work Interval: Time of work effort or work bout. This should be moderate to higher intensity moves like, faster walking patterns, tethered walking patterns or step training. It should be about 5-8 on the RPE scale.
Recovery Interval: Time between work intervals. The recovery interval may consist of easy, light buoyant moves focusing on full range of motion. Recovery in the water is faster since the water may act as a massage on the heart. It could be recumbent cycling movements with the noodle placed in front of the body. The goal is to keep the client moving as blood lactic will be dissipated quicker with movement than standing still. The intensity should be 3-4 on the RPE scale.
Work/recovery ratio: Time ratio of 1 to 3 means the recovery interval is three times the work interval.
Cycle: A work interval and recovery represent one cycle. Start with a longer recovery or 1 minute work and 2 minute recovery. This program will utilize 2:00 - 3:00 work to 3:00 - 4:00 minutes of recovery - so that you may perform and master all sets. Eventually the work interval may be shorted - when students understand the task.
Other Tips to Consider:
Stay hydrated and at a cellular level being more hydrated is a benefit to burning calories
Focus on total amount or work or duration per day. Try and add more actives that involve movement and less that involve sitting or standing.
Dress for Success
Whether on land or in the water there is a recommendation for wearing proper footwear and clothing to compliment the activity. In water, shoes and mitts are a fundamental and especially necessary for training good posture and providing traction when moving through the water. In water, shoes increased downward resistance and lower body work.
Tracking their Progress
Having a goal and a concise plan of action is important to success for a new fitness participant. Programs which encourage participation & consistency; recording visits in a journal; and reevaluation by the fitness trainer all contribute to regular participation.
The “Club” – Group approach: The club atmosphere can be a positive aspect for anyone who is involved in trying to lose weight. The class setting with an instructor who can educate, is positive, and shows support can enhance the support system for the participant. Exercise will not be effective if the client is not motivated or ready to make the other necessary changes. It may be beneficial for the participant to include other means of support within the club system to provide additional avenues for success. This might include the personal trainer or nutritionist in addition to the group fitness instructor
Provide Hand-outs and Tips on Healthy Topics
There are so many tips to help people struggling with balancing a healthy life. Encourage little lifestyle changes for added results. Always end a program with a positive tip on how to change their life for the better.
There are numerous and endless Fit Tips but here are a few:
• how to breath from the diaphragm to maximize your muscles and add relaxation strategies
• importance of Hydration and the importance of drinking water throughout an exercise program as well as throughout the day.
• Importance of Basic Nutrition – bring in a nutritionist to talk and offer suggestions for sticking to a good food plan.
• Adding some functional exercises to do on your own at home - home work!
• Stay positive and keep working at little lifestyle changes every day.
• Ask the participants to write down their exercise goal and give to the you (the Instructor/Personal Trainer) so that you may work this into upcoming programs.
and the last tip is to always stay positive and remember that change takes both time and energy and little changes over time will create a healthier you!
Keep moving and wishing you a Happy & Healthy New Year!