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.
According to the American Heart Association, 30 to 60 minutes of swimming 4 to 6 days a week can help individuals both lose weight and reduce health risks such as stroke, diabetes, and heart disease.
Unlike running, biking, and many other forms of cardio, swimming provides a full body workout. Muscles in the lower body, upper body, core, and back will all be worked and strengthen during a good swimming workout. In addition to these muscles, swimming also helps strengthen both the heart and lungs.
Swimming is often recommended for individuals with joint problems. This low-impact exercise does not put additional stress upon knees, hips, or backs, unlike running or biking.
How to Lose Weight Swimming
Combined with a healthy, well-balanced diet, individuals who commit themselves to a regular swimming routine should be able to lose weight. With that goal in mind, spending 60 minutes a day, 4 to 6 days a week in the pool should yield results.
If you are new to swimming, start slowly. During the first week, begin by doing intervals. Swim for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. As this gets easier, begin to increase your swim time and reduce your rest interval. Repeat for 30 minutes. Aim to advance to 60 minutes and to the point where you can swim up to 20 laps, or 500 meters, without stopping.
For more advanced swimmers, to be able to lose weight, you will need to maintain proper form and keep your heart rate elevated to reap the benefits of this cardiovascular exercise. Like the above routine, you will want to focus on interval training. Try to sprint for three laps and then swim one lap slowly. At the end of the last lap, stop and rest for 30 seconds. Continue to repeat this process for 60 minutes. To avoid boredom, consider switching to different stokes such as backstroke or the ever challenging butterfly. Additionally, you can add kicking exercise, where you utilize a kickboard, to your routine.
The University of Florida completed a 3-month study of swimming and determined that certain individuals actually gained weight when following a swimming regiment. This research determined that some people have their appetites stimulated after prolonged exposure to cold water temperatures. Be aware of this and refrain from eating back all those calories you burned during your workout.