Do you sometimes have the impression that certain swimming stroke types cannot really be considered a sport with Lifeguard class? For example, if older people go swimming without even getting their hair wet? If you think that you are wrong! Swimming is just very effective for losing weight.
Gliding in the water, making regular movements, and feeling weightless often proves to be just as effective as meditation. Surrounded by the blue tiles of the pool and in the refreshing water, you can get rid of all the daily stress. However, pool exercises are not just for relaxation. Swimming also helps to lose weight healthily. Unlike running, swimming does not damage your joints and ligaments. Floating allows your joints to relax after a day of stress. When you swim, you support only about 10% of your body weight.
Why can swimming help you lose weight?
When you exercise in water, you train more muscles at the same time than in most other sports, because you not only engage the muscles of the legs and glutes but also the arms, shoulders, chest, and back. In other words, your whole body is cooperating. Swimming can even help you lose belly fat. Swimming is especially good for your muscles because water offers resistance 14 times higher than air.
This means that even a simple breaststroke can burn up to 500 calories per hour, for example. With a little more effort, you can even burn up to 700 calories per hour! With a crawl or butterfly stroke, that number can increase, after all, those strokes require more energy.
Burn calories in the pool: the shape counts!
As mentioned before, the number of calories burned depends on the type of swimming stroke. However, your shape in the water is also important. If you don’t swim correctly, you are more likely to hurt yourself than to lose weight. The first step is to improve your technique.
What is the swimming stroke with which you lose the most weight? According to Elmar Trunz-Carlisi, a sports researcher at the Institut für Prävention und Nachsorge (IPN) in Cologne, crawling is most effective if the swimmer is trained enough to go on for long periods without a break and not get out of breath. Crawl is also a great choice for workouts that vary in intensity and pace (an essential element for anyone looking to burn more calories while swimming). It puts a uniform load on the legs, lower body, and upper body while strengthening all your muscles.
If you still need to train to master the crawl, don’t worry, you can lose weight with breaststroke too. Many amateur swimmers prefer this stroke over all others. Well, breaststroke is also a good way to lose belly fat.
Swimming to Lose Weight: Someone who doesn’t have a plan plans to fail!
Swimming is like an endurance sport because it is easier to lose weight by exercising at intervals. Instead of swimming back and forth at a comfortable pace, force yourself to go faster and faster for short periods of time followed by short breaks. Developing a training plan each week can help you stay on track.
For example, the first week might look like this: 3 pool sessions per week:
On the first day (Monday): Warm up by swimming 150m at a leisurely pace, then swim 10m x 100m at a brisk pace, with a 15-second break after each interval. Relax by swimming 150 meters slower.
Take a rest day before your next workout.
On Wednesday: warm up by swimming 150 meters. This time you’ll swim 4 x 200m at a fast pace with a 60-second break after each interval and finish with 150m at a slower pace.
On Friday: warm-up by swimming 150 meters. Then swim shorter and shorter distances (200/150/100/50 meters) and repeat this exercise once. Take a 30-second break after each interval. Relax by swimming 150 meters slower.
Regular exercise increases your chances of losing weight
How often should you swim? In general, it’s easier to lose weight if you do 30 to 45 minutes, repeating that three or four times a week.
However, the best advice in the world won’t help you if you want to go too fast right away and only focus on those calories burned. You won’t improve your stamina or technique like this. At the beginning of each workout, it is best to swim at least 100 meters to warm up, and at the end of each workout 100 or 200 meters to relax. During the training, also think about adjusting your speed, as well as the lengths and breaks.
Swimming to lose weight: the tools available
Do you get discouraged by the idea of swimming laps? Looking for some variation while swimming? There are plenty of tools to improve yourself. For example, why not use flippers. Both beginners and experts benefit from it. They help target the muscles of your legs and improve the technique of your lower body, also improving the flexibility of the ankle joint.
Boards and pull buoys should only be used by swimmers with sufficient experience. The planks can be described as larger palms. They are used by swimmers to increase the impact of their hands, which increases drag in the water. Every exercise should be a challenge. The pull cuffs are held between the thighs to help the hips float better. They increase the swimmer’s stability and improve his position in the water. This makes it easier to focus on the arms and make sure the swimmer’s movements are executed well.
A swim watch?
If you want to get correct information about your body, such as your active heart rate, SWOLF (number of movements per length), distance, pace, or type of swimming, the watch is designed for swimming in open water and in the pool, really something for you. Once the activity has started, all you have to do is swim!