How Many Calories Does Water Walking Burn 2024: Experts Explain

Step into the pool and boost your calorie burn with this low-impact exercise. “How Many Calories Does Water Walking Burn: Experts Explain” the benefits and intensity of this aquatic workout.

How Many Calories Does Water Walking Burn?

What Is Water Walking?

Water walking is simply walking back and forth in the shallow part of a swimming pool. Unlike jogging or running, water walking is a low-impact exercise, making it suitable if you’re looking to reduce stress on your joints, perhaps due to arthritis or pain from high-impact activities.

The Science Behind Water Walking

Engaging in water walking means your body faces more resistance than it would on land due to the water’s density. This resistance allows your muscles to work harder without the risk of impact-related injuries. Additionally, water walking can enhance your flexibility when combined with deliberate movements that extend your range of motion.

Key Aspects of Water Walking:

  • Intensity: Adjusted by walking speed and the water’s depth.
  • Heart Rate: Increased, leading to a cardio workout.
  • Muscle Groups: Engages multiple groups for overall toning.

Comparing Water Walking to Other Exercises

Here’s how water walking stacks up against similar physical activities:

  • Running/Jogging: Higher impact with more stress on joints.
  • Swimming: Higher intensity but requires swimming skills.
  • Water Jogging/Aerobics: Similar benefits, variations in intensity and engagement of different muscles.

Exercise Comparison:

ExerciseImpact LevelCardio BenefitJoint-FriendlyMuscle Engagement
Water AerobicsLowModerateHighModerate-High
Water WalkingLowModerateHighModerate-High

Water walking, therefore, provides a blend of cardiovascular benefits and muscle engagement while being easy on your joints, making it a great option for a diverse range of individuals, including those with joint issues or those seeking a gentle entry into physical activity.

Caloric Impact of Water Walking

A person walking in water, creating ripples. Waves gently lapping at the shore. Sunlight reflecting off the water's surface

Water walking is an excellent way to boost your metabolism and increase your energy expenditure. By exploring how to measure caloric burn, factors that alter this burn, and methods to maximize it, you can capitalize on this low-impact exercise to meet your fitness goals.

Measuring Calories Burned

The Compendium of Physical Activities provides MET (Metabolic Equivalent of Task) values as a guide to approximate energy cost for various activities. For water walking at a moderate pace, the MET value is typically around 4.5. You can use a simple formula to calculate calories burned per minute: (MET value x your body weight in kg x 3.5) ÷ 200. For a 180-pound individual, this formula translates to approximately 6.43 calories burned per minute, or about 386 calories burned after water walking for 60 minutes.

Factors Affecting Caloric Burn in Water

Your caloric burn in water can be influenced by several factors, including:

  • Body Weight: Heavier individuals will burn more calories.
  • MET Value: The intensity of your activity alters the MET, impacting calories burned.
  • Resistance Tools: Using equipment like resistance gloves, foam dumbbells, wrist weights, or a flotation belt increases the challenge and calorie burn.
  • Body Fat: Higher body fat may alter buoyancy and resistance, affecting the calorie expenditure.
  • Water Temperature: Cooler water might lead to higher calorie burn as the body works to maintain its core temperature.

Maximizing Calorie Burn in Water

To optimize your caloric expenditure during water walking:

  1. Integrate interval training by alternating between fast-paced and moderate walking.
  2. Incorporate strength training elements with resistance tools to build muscle and burn more calories.
  3. Use a flotation belt to maintain proper posture and increase resistance.
  4. Consider a body fat calculator to track changes in body composition due to water walking.
  5. Regularly switch up your routines to include various resistance and strength exercises, keeping your body challenged and the calorie burn high.

Remember that the key to effective weight loss and energy burn lies in consistency and gradually increasing the intensity and variety of your water workouts.

Health and Lifestyle Benefits

A person walking in water, surrounded by nature, with a calorie counter showing calories burnt

Embarking on water walking is not just a fun splash in the pool—it’s a powerful way to enhance your health while embracing a lifestyle that keeps you moving with less strain on your body. Here are the compelling benefits you’ll enjoy and specific groups who can reap these advantages.

Improving Overall Health with Water Walking

Water walking serves as a full-body workout that significantly improves your overall health. By participating in this aquatic activity, you’re not only burning calories but also bolstering your cardiovascular health.

On average, you might burn between 240 to 400 calories per hour, depending on your pace and weight. Positively influence your weight loss journey as you reduce your BMI and boost endurance while being gentle on the joints. It’s an exercise endorsed by reputable sources like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a recommended form of aerobic activity.

  • Key Health Benefits of Water Walking:
    • Enhances cardiovascular health
    • Promotes healthy weight loss
    • Tones thighs, quads, and glutes
    • Increases endurance
    • Low impact, reducing chances of injury

Targeted Groups Benefiting from Water Walking

Water walking is particularly beneficial for diverse groups facing challenges with traditional land-based exercises. Enjoy being active even with conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, or osteoporosis—water’s buoyancy reduces stress on bones and joints.

If you’re facing back pain or recovering from an injury, your path to staying fit while minimizing discomfort is in the pool.

Expectant mothers and seniors find water walking ideal for maintaining fitness without undue strain. Plus, if you’re overweight, the support and resistance offered by water make this a safe way to start incorporating exercise into your life. From treading water to trying out aqua jog or water yoga, the water offers versatility in workouts, essential for keeping your routine fresh and engaging.

  • Groups Who Benefit Significantly from Water Walking:
    • Individuals with joint-related health issues
    • Older adults seeking low-impact exercise
    • Overweight individuals
    • Pregnant women
    • Those rehabilitating from injuries


Can you burn calories walking in water?

Yes, you can burn calories walking in water; it’s a low-impact exercise that provides resistance, helping to increase calorie expenditure.

Does walking in water reduce weight?

Walking in water can help reduce weight by burning calories and offering resistance, leading to muscle strengthening.

How many calories do you burn treading water for 30 minutes?

Treading water for 30 minutes can burn between 200 to 300 calories, depending on your body weight and intensity.

What burns more calories walking or treading water?

Treading water typically burns more calories than walking due to the constant resistance and effort required to stay afloat.

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