Swimming workouts burn fat, trim inches and help you get stronger, fitter and healthier than ever.
For those looking to lose 10 pounds, swimming is a unique and effective alternative to other types of cardio workouts like running or biking. Swimming is one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise because it works the entire body, but also provides a low-impact form of exercise. Regardless of your swimming ability, with some practice, you should be able to hit the pool and lose some weight when swimming.
No other workout burns calories, boosts metabolism, and firms every muscle in your body (without putting stress on your joints) better than a swimming workout.
The body-shaping benefits of swimming workouts are the result of a perfect storm of calorie burn and muscle recruitment. An easy swim burns around 500 calories an hour, while a vigorous effort can torch almost 900. And because water is nearly 800 times denser than air, each kick, push, and pull is like a mini resistance workout for your entire body, especially your core, hips, arms, shoulders, and glutes.
You can burn more calories swimming than you can jogging, dancing or even doing aerobics, provided you swim vigorously and use some of the more challenging strokes. If you swim on a daily basis without increasing your calorie intake, you’re likely to see serious slimming as the weight comes off. The key to an effective swim routine is splitting it into shorter segments, mixing in a variety of work and rest intervals, and using different strokes, drills, and intensities.
Try this starter workout: Swim four lengths of the pool at an easy effort (catch your breath at the wall between lengths if you need to). Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat five to 10 times. Try that two or three times a week for the first two weeks.
As your swimming progresses you will build muscle which in turn burns fat. So calories will be burned as you swim, plus you will burn more calories as your swimming improves. You will also burn an increased amount of calories even after the exercise is finished as your body uses energy to recover and rebuild muscle tissue.
Swimming provides constant resistance exercise as you are battling against the water to propel your body forward. This makes it excellent for increasing strength especially in the upper body.
How many Calories will Swimming Burn?
Swimming is known to be one of the best all round aerobic exercises because it works all the major muscle groups so targets every area of your body. Swimming can be more effective than HIIT for losing weight.
There are 4 main strokes to choose from:
If you’re in the habit of hanging out at the pool three times a week, and spend an hour swimming, you will lose almost half a pound each week. The type of stroke you use will determine how many calories you burn, and therefore how much weight you lose. Freestyle, the stroke you see people use most often, burns from 650 to 820 calories an hour, depending on the intensity. Doing the backstroke burns 650 calories, the breaststroke burns 820, the butterfly 900 and the sidestroke 650. Even treading water can burn up to 820 calories, if done vigorously.
Swimming can stimulate appetite, as swimmers are more depleted of carbohydrates after exercising than people who cycle or run. You can eat a low-fat carbohydrate snack immediately after exercising to avoid having a huge appetite later, which can thwart your weight-loss efforts. Fill up on low-calorie fruits and vegetable when you’re hungry, and consume meals that include lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.
What are the other benefits of swimming?
-Top athletes use swimming to aid recovery from injury as it is low impact but still builds excellent muscular and cardiovascular endurance. So if you have had an accident and want to get back into exercising, taking up swimming is an ideal way to do that.
-It’s fun. You don’t have to just do length after length in the pool. Things like treading water burns calories too.
-Swimming can be relaxing.
-You could also join a water aerobics class if lane swimming isn’t your thing.