How these power women lost weight through aqua aerobics | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

CHARI Mercado, Xandra Padilla and Louie Locsin warm up before the class.
CHARI Mercado, Xandra Padilla and Louie Locsin warm up before the class.

After women birth to her first child, Alexandra “Xandra” Ramos Padilla, general manager of Crossings Department Store, worked out her post-natal weight gain through aqua aerobics. Under swimming instructor Sharon Caoili’s program, she lost 10 lbs in three months, coupled with eschewing dessert and potato chips as part of her Lenten sacrifice then.

During pregnancy with her second child, Padilla continued aqua aerobics, with classical Pilates. A study has reported that moderate exercise during pregnancy reduces a woman’s need for pain relief when she delivers her baby. The researchers noted that aqua aerobics has helped women to  prepare emotionally and physically for the rigors of child birth.

Although Padilla had a caesarian delivery, she went back to work in a month, much faster than women who don’t have a fitness routine.

Caoili, who keeps track of Padilla’s measurements, noted that she lost two inches each  from the waist and abdomen, an inch each  from the hips and the arms in one month.

CHARI Mercado

“I can tuck in my shirts and put on the belt,” says Padilla.  From size 8, she is slipping to size 6.

Preferred workout

Once the domain of people of a certain age, aqua aerobics or water-based fitness is becoming a preferred workout of people who want to get in shape quickly. For younger people, it complements an intense workout, yet burns between 500-700 calories per session.

XANDRA Padilla expends more energy doing aqua aerobics than in many land-based activities performed at the same pace, due to the increased resistance of water.

Done in a shallow pool, the workout consists of a cardiovascular warm-up such as jumping, kicking and jogging across the pool, stretches to prepare the muscles, exercises focusing on certain body parts and a cool-down. One has to push the body through the water and work against its resistance.

This is why the workout is 12 times more vigorous than land aerobics, says Caoili. Unlike land aerobics, which targets certain muscle groups that are working against gravity, aqua aerobics engages all the muscle groups simultaneously.

“Water pressure adds  intensity to the cardiovascular system and enables working out beyond one’s capacity. Thus, more calories are burned,” says Caoili.

Since the buoyancy of water assists 90 percent of the body, anyone can do water-based exercises, regardless of fitness  or fatness levels, age and health conditions. Caoili’s  programs ares designed to meet the needs of the clients.

Easy exercise

Charina Mercado, an education consultant, learned about aqua aerobics from a cousin who had a slip disc. As the water supports the body weight, it takes the pain off her cousin’s spine. Hence, it is easier to exercise and build muscle tone.

For people not accustomed to exercise, aqua aerobics is a gentler way of strengthening all the major muscle groups and the lungs and heart.

FLOATING and working against gravity, Louie Locsin can do more stretches. PHOTOS BY NELSON MATAWARAN

“The exercises are not strenuous. I don’t get out of breath,” says Mercado.

Hence, people who aren’t accustomed to  exercise get motivated to stick to it. Mercado points out that another benefit is weight stability. In the past, she would go on a diet and gain back the lost pounds because she wasn’t burning enough calories. With these workouts, her weight no longer fluctuates.

The social aspect of aqua aerobics is a plus. Mercado says exercising becomes more pleasurable when done with friends.

Buffering effect

Women of a certain allure such as  Ma. Lourdes “Louie” Locsin have other concerns. She says water has a buffering effect that protects the joints. “You can jump up and down and you won’t hurt a fragile limb.”

LOUIE Locsin works off her waistline.

Fighting the middle-age flab, Locsin has been focusing on strengthening her core. “It is a good way to lose inches since nature reminds you of how old you are. People of a certain age must maintain their health and keep the inches off. Once you let go, it’s difficult  to get back in shape.”

After a few months,  the waistband of Locsin’s pants is beginning to fit.

Aside from being joint-friendly, the workout is also convenient. “You can do it anywhere where there’s a pool,” she says.

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