Medically reviewed by Shanmukha Priya, M.Phil and Ph.D. in Food Science and Nutrition
Research shows that swimming offers a complete cardio and stretching exercise. So it is a good idea to try swimming for weight loss.
It helps you burn excess fat in a safe way without hurting your joints – especially if you are suffering from obesity.
Since it is considered one of the safest ways to exercise and is a fatigue-free work out you should try swimming for weight loss.
It is a complete exercise that heals the mind and body alike. Swimming is an excellent way to work your entire body and cardiovascular system.
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An hour burns almost as many calories as running, without all the impact on your bones and joints. Swimming helps in losing weight and maintaining a good physique.
Did You Know?
Swimming helps to manage weight, reduces stress levels, can boost your mood, strengthens muscles, serves as a low impact workout and can also improve your sleep.
Why should you look at swimming for weight loss
An hour’s swim can make an individual burn up to 400 calories or more if done vigorously. And just 30 minutes of swimming can help you stay flexible, reduce inflammation and relieve depression and stress.
Swimming with resistance is harder than being on the treadmill. You could increase and decrease the intensity without stressing the body.
It helps burn more calories and works the core continuously burning more belly fat. And doing some crunches post the swim could further help in toning the abs.
Swimming also has an after-burn, so the calories are burnt even after the swim. You increase muscle mass, which increases your metabolism and helps you burn fat even while not exercising.
But, bear in mind, diet is of great importance if you have chosen swimming as your main workout. You can’t be eating too many calories if your aim is to lose weight with swimming.
To strengthen and tone your stomach and abdominal muscles as well as lose weight, try the breaststroke, freestyle, sidestroke, butterfly, and backstroke.
For beginners, it is best to start with 30 minutes of moderate intensity swimming 3-5 times a week, while regular swimmers can practise for an hour.
Tips to get swimming for weight loss right
How to get started: Getting started in swimming is easy. It is a sport for all age groups, skill and fitness levels. Before you get started, you will need to purchase a pair of swimmers and some goggles.
Prepare your muscles: From there, start slow. You may even want to start your journey in the gym with strength training that works your muscles before you hit the water. If you are having trouble, consider asking a personal trainer for help with form.
Follow the pool rules: Once you are in the water, be sure to observe pool etiquette. There are often slow, medium, and fast lanes. Ask the lifeguard which lane in which to find your right place.
QUICK TIPS BEFORE YOU DIVE IN
Make sure you know how to swim.
Choose a safe environment.
Warm up and stretch your muscles and joints before entering the water.
Have plenty of fluids on hand and drink regularly.
Don’t overdo it if you are just starting out.
See your doctor if you haven’t exercised for a long time.
Health benefits of swimming for weight loss
Swimming is a great workout because you need to move your whole body against the resistance of the water. Swimming for weight loss helps you in the following way:
- Keeps your heart rate up but takes some of the impact stress off your body.
- Builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness.
- Helps maintain a healthy weight, healthy heart and lungs.
- Tones muscles and builds strength.
- Provides an all-over body workout, as nearly all of your muscles are used during swimming.
- Being a relaxing and peaceful form of exercise.
- Alleviating stress.
- Improving coordination, balance and posture.
- Improving flexibility.
- Providing good low-impact therapy for some injuries and conditions.
- Providing a pleasant way to cool down on a hot day.
- Being available in many places – you can swim in swimming pools, beaches, lakes, dams and rivers. Make sure that the environment you choose to swim in is safe.
1] Why swimming for weight loss is good for obese people?
It is a low to medium intensity cardio work out which allows you to burn calories without hurting your joints and back especially if you have obesity.
2] Can I continue swimming even if I am old?
Yes, swimming is a very safe and gentle way to keep fit. It can be done be a person of any age. Swimming is a healthy activity that you can continue for a lifetime.
3] How fit do I need to be to take up swimming for weight loss?
You do not need a very high level of physical fitness to be able to swim.
All you need to do is train your muscles with some in-water stretching and warm-up exercises before you start your swim strokes. It is a very gentle and healing form of physiotherapy as well.
Losing weight and gaining fitness is definitely not an easy journey and Possible’s objective is to make it fun and a tad bit easier for you!
So if you are serious about taking on this journey, talk to our Possible Nutritionist today! The first consultation is on us.