Swimming for weight loss and toning is a wonderful activity because it allows you to minimize stress on your body while still getting the exercise needed. Because a swimming weight loss plan involves a low-impact exercise, your knees, hips, and back don't have the additional stress caused by other forms of exercise.
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 strengthened during a good swimming workout. In addition to these muscles, swimming also helps strengthen both the heart and lungs.
The key to burning fat while swimming is to do high-intensity workouts, distance training, or both. A review in "The Ochsner Journal" reports that after 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise your body starts to burn fat as fuel. Therefore, when swimming to burn fat, aim to complete more than 30 minutes of low-to medium-intensity swims to help burn excess body fat. High-intensity workouts are slightly more complex. You should swim as hard as you can for a short, set time period (usually two minutes or less), then back off for a predetermined rest interval (usually three minutes or less), and repeat the cycle four times or more.
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 heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Even if you aren't a serious swimmer, spending time in the pool doing other exercises like water yoga, leg swings, or arm circles will be beneficial to your overall health and well-being. You can even use the swim ladder or swimming pool steps for creating simple workout exercises.
Regardless of the workout technique you use, make sure you're having fun. Yes, even hard workouts can have some fun sprinkled in to keep you motivated. People almost always lose interest in swimming workouts because they become bored and aren't having any fun.
Learn several different swim strokes. This way you will have a repertoire of strokes you can do depending on your mood during the workout. Backstroke is a wonderful swimming workout for checking out the sky and playing the "name-that-cloud" game while completing your laps.
Find a swim buddy who is interested in swimming for fitness also. If you go to a particular pool regularly, you will likely build friendships with like-minded swimmers, making your workouts more pleasurable and challenging.
If you can't find a swim buddy, let your dog join in the fun. Many dogs love swimming and would happily cheer you on while swimming laps beside you. Just remember to keep things safe by having a set of dog steps to allow your dog to enter and exit the pool without your intervention while you are focusing on your workout.
Overall, the benefits of swimming for weight loss are limitless; swimming workouts are a great choice because it works your heart, lungs, and the muscles of your entire body. So, stop procrastinating, get some dog stairs for your canine swimming companion, and start swimming today!