Swimming in the pool, sea or any open water is not only a pleasant way to spend your free time but also an opportunity to keep fit. A physical load in the water is different from exercise in the open air – your body experiences near weightlessness. So, is swimming an effective way to lose weight? Or should you choose another kind of sports?
Swimming as a way to lose weight: advantages and disadvantages
Here are the advantages of swimming:
- It burns 1.5 times more calories than running;
- There is no load on your joints in the water, so the risk of trauma becomes less;
- Swimming engages every muscle of your body: arms, abs, back, buttocks, legs;
- You can go swimming every day without any possible harm to your health. Weight training, for example, is not recommended more than 3-4 times a week, but don’t be afraid of regular swimming;
- Swimming speeds up your metabolism and improves blood circulation;
- It’s very good for your back and spine (but, frankly speaking, you’ll have to keep to a correct technique);
- Exercise in the water helps to make your skin more elastic, keep it toned. It’s a proved fact that regular swimming has an anti-age effect;
- A lot of people enjoy this kind of sports far more than going to the gym.
The “cons” of swimming are:
- It considerably increases your appetite. If you don’t closely monitor what you eat there will be a possibility that you overeat and gain weight instead of losing it;
- The load should be intense! You should put real effort in what you’re doing, not just flounder in the water or lie on your back. The best style of swimming for weight loss is front crawl;
- You’ll have to go to the swimming pool regularly, a few times a week in order to lose weight. Don’t expect to see positive results after only a couple of days. If you want to get rid of excess weight and make your body well-developed and healthy as soon as possible, you’d better go to the gym;
- If your swimming technique is incorrect, there will be a risk of unpleasant sensations in the neck vertebrae. A lot of women hold their head above the water so that their hair and makeup won’t get wet. Such a style affects the spine and can become a cause of pain in the neck.
How often should you go swimming to lose weight?
If you want to get rid of excess pounds, you’ll need to go to the swimming pool at least for an hour 3-4 times a week. The most effective is interval training: intensive swimming with short periods of rest in between. Take more and more load each time to increase your stamina.
Combine swimming with training in the gym if possible. For example, a day of cardio training followed by another day in the swimming pool. Such an active lifestyle will get you in shape in no time. But if you don’t have so much spare time, just go swimming 3-4 times a week. It’ll do great things to your physical shape.
Is swimming an effective way to lose weight?
You’ll definitely lose weight due to swimming if you follow these rules:
- Go to the pool regularly, 3-4 times a week;
- Each training session should last at least 60 minutes;
- Work out intensively and, preferably, at intervals;
- Follow a diet.
Thus, you will lose weight due to swimming only when you regard this exercise as a full training, not just a pleasant way to spend free time.