Swimming to Lose Weight

It is an obvious fact that swimming is good for health. Swimming trains your cardiovascular system as well as make your whole body work. Therefore, it enhances your endurance, strength, prevent chronic illness, et cetera. But, one question is, “Can we lose weight by swimming?” Swimming is not a common exercise which people practice with goal of losing weight.

VanessaFernandes-Swimming - Swimming to lose your weight

Source Image: http://www.enjoy-swimming.com/swimming-strokes.html

However, the answer is yes. It is in fact a practice in which you need to work and move your body just like walking and running. As a result, there’s no way that your calories are not burnt when swimming. Despite the fact that swimming burn calories, why are there fewer people who swim to lose weight than people who walk, run and workout at gym?

Why swimming is less common exercise to lose weight?

Swimming is quite a different exercise and sport from the others as you have to practice underwater, an environment  in which is not as easy for human as the land. Consequentially, there are differences conditions which prevent it from being the effective losing weight method if we don’t pay attention and be careful.

  • Buoyancy effect: Is the effect that water gives your body a lift and your body floats. The more fats you have, the more effects you give the buoyancy. You don’t have to work much since you have water support you. As a result, it reduces your degrees of working out.
  • Difficult in environment change: Practicing underwater means your cardiovascular system must work harder as they interact more pressure. Therefore, early exhaustion and hard breath happen with beginners. It’ll take long time to be used to it with people who have cardiovascular problems.
  • Techniques: If you want to lose weight with swimming, you have to do proper swimming techniques with proper instruction. It’s not as easy as exercises on land since you work with unfamiliar environment, water. You can walk or move your body on land everyday but you don’t walk in water everyday.
  • Appetite: One of the most concerning problem when swimming is the appetite after swimming. When you swim, your body temperature is being kept cool because of the water, while exercising on land, you produce more heat. The body needs energy after swimming to compensate for the decrease of temperature in order to warm the body up. And food is one way to consume and produce that energy. As a result, your appetite would be higher and harder to resist than exercising on land. Therefore, your body would consume more or the same calories which you have just burnt.

Can we really lose weight with swimming?

Yes, we can but with proper practices. Professor Kay Cox of The Western University of Australia did a research about swimming and health which was published in Metabolism-Clinical and Experimental journal in 2010. She compared women who took up swimming program with women who took up walking program. The women from both groups exercised with the same amount of time and at the same intensity. After a year, women who swam lost weight and toned waist a little better than women who walked.Additionally, swimming women were asked to eat specific diet to have these results.

How much calories does swimming burn?

Despite the buoyancy effect, water is about 800 times denser than air, so it must interfere with your movement, make them heavier and you have to work harder. Generally you will lose 500 – 700 calories when swimming depends on your weight and intensity of performing. For example, with freestyle swimming, a 130 pound person can lose 590 calories in one hour while it is 650 calories with butterfly swimming.

Even though swimming burns calories quite enough, it’s not as much as other sports. However swimming is to work your whole body, so its toning muscle function is quite effective. Moreover, you don’t put a lot of pressure or force to your joints compare to other sport. Therefore, risk of injuries and tired painful joints are less than the others.

Types of swimming stroke

Swimming has many strokes or styles but there are four common strokes since they are popular used in swimming competition: Freestyle Stroke (Front Crawl); Backstroke, Breaststroke and Butterfly. Freestyle is claimed to be the fastest stroke and commonly used. The second fast is Butterfly swimming which is quite unique and beautiful technique as well as the most exhausted in four kinds. People who want to lose weight with swimming usually choose freestyle or butterfly swimming.

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Source Image: http://www.enjoy-swimming.com/butterfly-stroke.html

We can swim to lose weight. However, it is harder to lose weight than the other sports or exercises because of its unique characteristics. If your main purpose is to lose weight fast with the most efficiency, swimming might not be for you. But, you should consider other benefits of swimming which are better than the others such as cardiovascular system endurance, low risk of injuries and so on. You can both lose weight and enjoy interesting experience of practicing in water.

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1 Response

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