Swimming is also one of the best ways to lose weight. Water is 800 times denser than air, so when you are swimming, you are working against resistance, which burns fat, creates lean muscle, and increases your metabolism. Swimming is a cardiovascular exercise that uses both the arms and legs, as well as the core and back to propel the body forward. It tones the lower and upper body, and the core, and produces better overall muscle definition than other cardio activities like running. The four strokes in swimming ? butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle all offer different workouts for different muscle groups, for example, butterfly and breaststroke work the arms, shoulders, and chest, while freestyle and backstroke strengthen the abdominal muscles, the back, and the quads.
Swimming is a fantastic form of exercise that provides an all-round body workout. Swimming works every muscle in the body and is one of the most versatile and effective workouts around. It offers a safe, high-aerobic, low-impact workout, allowing you to swim as much as you like without worrying about injuries. If you do have injuries, swimming is an excellent form of rehabilitation.
How Many Calories Does Swimming Burn?Swimming is an all-round body workout that builds lean muscles and thus burns calories. Just 30 minutes of swimming freestyle burns approximately 404 calories, while the same time spent swimming breaststroke burns around 367 calories and backstroke around 250 calories. Butterfly burns the most calories at 450 per 30 minutes, but it is also the most difficult and energy-consuming stroke to swim. This is more than the 100 calories you burn for a brisk 30-minute walk or run at six miles per hour, and it is less injury-prone.
How Much Do You Have to Swim to Lose Weight?As with anything, it all depends on how intense your workout is and how hard you work. If you swim vigorously for an hour, four times a week, you could lose up to three or four pounds in a month. To lose one pound you need to burn 3,500 calories. If you prefer to do less intense workouts, you can swim at a moderate pace for 30 minutes, four times a week, and lose just over a pound. Bear in mind though, that every person is different, and some people lose more or less weight than others even when they do the same amount of exercise. However, making swimming part of your regular exercise routine will most certainly lead to a healthier, fitter you. It will not only help you to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight,?research?shows that people who swam an hour, three times a week not only lost a significant amount of body fat, but also improved their?endurance,?flexibility,?and lowered their cholesterol.
Top Tips for Swimming to Lose WeightIf you are swimming to lose weight, here are some top tips to help you get the best results.
1. Swim in the Morning Before EatingOne of the best ways to lose weight by swimming is to swim in the morning before you eat anything. Your body is in a fasted state from sleeping and will use fat stores for burning energy while you swim. Morning swims before eating will produce great weight loss results, as well as increase your metabolism and build and tone lean muscle.
2. Swim Four to Five Times a WeekWith any form of exercise whether it?s walking, running or swimming, the more active you are, the better. To get the best results for weight loss when swimming, try to swim four to five times a week for at least 30 minutes.
3. Swim Faster and HarderSwimming burns a lot of calories when you are a beginner swimmer or starting on your journey to getting fit, but as your swimming skills improve, you become more efficient in the water, and you get fitter, your heart rate doesn?t increase as much, and you will burn fewer calories. The answer is to increase your heart rate by working harder in the pool and swimming faster. Swimming with a heart rate monitor will help you to keep track of your heart rate and increase your pace when needed. According to Paul Johnson, founder of?CompleteTri.com, your target heart rate should be between 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate during a workout of moderate-intensity. Your maximum heart rate can be calculated by subtracting your age from 220.
4. Increase ResistanceIncreasing resistance in the water burns more calories so use equipment such as flippers (fins), kickboards, and pull buoys in your workouts. You can also wear a drag suit over your swimming costume, which creates extra drag in the water, allowing you to burn more calories.
5. Change StrokesDifferent strokes burn different amounts of calories, so try and swim all four strokes in your workout to get a good overall body workout. Read on for a variety of?swim exercises and weight loss workouts?that will give you some great workout options that combine all four strokes. s
6. Use a Pace ClockMaking use of a pace clock makes workouts far more interesting than just swimming lengths for an hour. It also incorporates intervals into your workout, which can help you burn more calories when you swim. According to?research from the American College of Sports Medicine: ?breaking up your workout into sets of specific intervals allows you to maintain a higher rate of speed and stroke form, which will help you improve your performance and the number of calories burned.?
7. Change Your Swim RoutineDoing the same workout over and over again at the same speed is not only boring, but it can cause your body to hit a plateau and stop burning as much energy as it used to. Change your workouts every time you are in the pool ? see the next section of this article for a variety of?swim exercises and weight loss workouts?that will give you some great workout options.
8. Alternate Swimming with Water AerobicsWater aerobics is another form of low-stress, a water-based exercise that can help you to lose weight and maintain a healthy, fit, and lean body. You can alternate your swimming days with water aerobics, which is a good form of active recovery. It is also a social and fun way to spend some time in the water.
9. Adjust Your DietTo lose weight, you must burn more calories than you are taking in. As with any weight loss program, swimming is no exception. Swimming uses a lot of energy and you will need to refuel after your workout, particularly if you have been swimming in cold water. Make sure you make the right food choices that will help you to continue to lose weight. Keith McNiven, founder of the personal training company?Right Path Fitness?suggests drinking a protein shake after your workout, adding more vegetables to your plate, and staying away from snacking.
10. Join a Swim Club or Work with a Swim CoachJoining a swim club or working with a coach will help you commit to a routine of swimming several times a week. It?s also a great way to meet like-minded people who love swimming and to help you stay motivated on your weight-loss journey.