Swimming is an activity that many people enjoy far more than hitting the gym for a full workout which is why many people tend to ask if it works well when your goal is to lose weight. The short answer? Yes, it does. But let’s talk more about WHY swimming makes for excellent exercise and how you can make the most of it.
Benefits of Swimming for Weight Loss
When most people think of going for a swim they conjure up images of relaxing by the pool side or hitting the beach for a good dose of sun and salt water. Unfortunately, you can’t expect to get results from swimming if you’re just planning to do it casually. A real fat melting, calorie burning water workout consists of multiple swimming forms (breast stroke, back stroke, etc) and doing laps.
That’s not to say that it’s difficult, though. Many people find that exercising in a pool is much easier. Not to mention there are several benefits of working out in the water rather than at home or in the gym. These include:
- Generally Easier Workouts
- Water Workouts are Less Stressful on the Body (good for those with arthritis or bad limbs)
- Natural Resistance from Water
- More Enjoyable for Some People
- Less Risk of Injury
Overall, if you plan out a vigorous swim you’ll find that you can easily burn fat. In fact you can burn close to 800 calories per hour when you perform an intensive exercise routine in the water. Even just going for a casual swim for an hour can burn 400 to 500. Swimming makes use of literally every muscle in the body making it one of the best all around workouts. It’s also a very good form of cardio.
Swimming Workout for Beginners
Starting our you’re more than likely not going to be hitting the pool like an Olympic athlete. But you can still make good use of your time. Start out with just a half hour workout consisting of the following:
- 10 Minutes Casual Freestyle Swimming (just to warm up)
- 10 Minutes Breast Stroke (standard arms forward, head down position)
- 10 Minutes Back Stroke (looking to the sky, basically a reverse breast stroke)
This may not seem like a lot but once you hit the pool and start the routine for the first time you may be in for a surprise. You’ll have to learn to control your breathing properly (which is entirely different from an at home cardio workout) to not lose your breath swimming. And you’ll also have to get used to using both your arm and leg muscles to maneuver yourself through the water which, as we stated earlier, works as a natural resistance to your body.
Remember, you can do this routine nearly every day of the week because swimming has such a low chance of causing injury. Don’t overdo it when you’re starting out, though. 30 minutes a day is more than enough. After a few weeks you’ll be able to gradually build up your stamina to go for longer and longer sessions.
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