Modalities of Weight Loss
Effects of Aquatic Exercise and Walking in Sedentary Obese Women Undergoing a Behavioral Weight-Loss Intervention
Elizabeth F. Nagle, Robert J. Robertson, John J. Jakicic, Amy D. Otto, Julie R. Ranalli, Laurel B. Chiapetta, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
The effects of the non-weight-bearing method of aquatic exercise as a modality for weight loss have not been established. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a combined aquatic-exercise and walking program compared with walking alone on body weight and selected variables in obese women undergoing a 16-week standard behavioral treatment program.
Forty-four obese (body-mass index 34.9 ± 3.8 kg/m²) sedentary women age 40.3 ± 6.8 years were randomly assigned to one of two groups: aquatic and walking exercise (AE) or walking only (W). In addition, both groups were required to complete three sessions of home-based walking per week and were instructed to reduce energy intake to facilitate weight loss.
In the AE group, total body weight, cardiorespiratory fitness, flexibility, strength, and health-related quality of life significantly improved over time similarly to the W group. Slightly greater non significant losses in body weight, improvements in flexibility, greater attendance rates, and significantly greater enjoyment scores also occurred in the AE group.
These observations suggest that aquatic exercise in combination with walking can serve as an alternative to walking exercise alone for overweight women during periods of weight loss, and this can improve functional health status.