Swimming is probably not at the top of your list regarding weight loss. Running? Absolutely! But swimming? Is it a serious fat burner? How much swimming for weight loss?
Swimming is the best to tone and slim your whole body. If you are burnt out on other forms of fitness such as walking or jogging, swimming can be a welcome change.
Best of all, you do not have to commit to a Michael Phelps-style workout routine to reap the benefits. Here’s what makes swimming an excellent workout for you to lose weight, plus some simple dive tips.
How swimming can help you lose weight
Swimming burns calories and will help you lose weight. But unlike walking or jogging, moving through the water creates extra resistance, forcing you to use your muscles more.
Swimming tones the upper body, lower body, and core simultaneously, giving you a full-body workout and more general muscle definition than other fitness activities such as running. The breast and butterfly work, for example, with the shoulders, arms, and chest, while the backbone strengthens the back, abdomen, and squares.
And by building more muscle, you also burn more calories. In just 30 minutes of swimming, breaststroke can burn around 367 calories, while freestyle swimming burns about 404 calories.
Another blessing? It does not take long to reap the fat-burning benefits of swimming. The research found that women who swam for 60 minutes three times a week lost body fat in 12 weeks. They also increased endurance, improved flexibility, and even lowered cholesterol.
How much swimming for weight loss?
Swimming hard for an hour burns around 800 calories. Do this four times a week, and you can lose three or four pounds in a month.
Swimming at a moderate pace for 30 minutes burns around 250 calories. Do this four times a week, and in a month, you will lose a little more than a pound.
But everybody is different, and research suggests that some people lose more or less weight than others – even when they exercise just as much. However, making exercises, such as swimming, a part of your routine can help you reach or maintain a healthy weight. If you are trying to lose pounds, consider doing moderate or vigorous exercises such as swimming for about an hour a day.
What does a swimming workout look like?
There are swimming exercises for all levels, but here’s what a beginner’s time in the water can look like:
Swimming training for beginners: 500 yards
- 4 x 25 yards, 40 seconds rest in between
- 2 x 25 yards butterfly with 2 strokes right and 2 strokes left arm
- 2 x 25 yards back with 2 strokes right and 2 strokes left arm
- 2 x 25 yards chest with 1 stroke and 2 kicks
- 2 x 25 yards freestyle stroke catchup (hold one arm outstretched while the other strokes and touches the hand on the opposite arm)
Do two rounds of the following, make a faster interval for the second round (or take less rest).
- 1 x 50 meters
- 2 x 25 meters