People who want to lose weight will often run several miles every day to help them burn calories.
However, swimming is a more effective exercise when it comes to losing weight. Not only does it help you lose weight; it can also strengthen and tone some of your muscles.
Swimming is almost the same as jogging, walking, and running. It is an exercise that allows the heart to pump faster than normal.
The faster pumping action of the heart requires more energy for the muscles of the heart. The body will try to mobilize fat reserves and burn these as fuel.
This fat-derived energy fuels the heart muscles and the other muscles of the body. This is why aerobic exercises are good for people who want to lose weight.
There is another aspect of swimming that makes it a more efficient fat-burner than running or jogging. When you swim, you are propelling yourself against the water.
Water resists this forward movement of the body. The muscles of the arms, legs, and the core will have to work harder to overcome this resistance.
A good example is doing the breaststroke or the butterfly stroke. One can only rely on the strength of the core and leg muscles when it comes to doing the breaststroke.
Synchronizing the movements of the upper limbs during a butterfly stroke also requires more energy for the muscles. The backstroke relies on the strength of the quads, the abs, and the back muscles.
In other words, swimming makes you work your muscle groups more. The more muscle groups that work, the more energy that they need. The greater the energy requirement, the more calories that the body burns.
If you swim breaststroke for half an hour, you will burn about 367 calories. If you swim freestyle, you’ll lose 404 calories in the same time frame.
Running at an average of 6 MPH for about 30 minutes will only burn 300 calories. Brisk walking for the same amount of time will only burn 100 calories.
There are also studies that show swimming for an hour every other day can lead to a reduction in body fat in as short as 3 months.
Not only does swimming help in weight loss, it can also boost cardiovascular endurance and improve flexibility.
Swimming is also useful in losing belly fat. Butterfly kicks can target the obliques, while flutter kicks target the lower abs.
This can lead to a slimmer figure around the waist and hips. Swimming is also beneficial for people with joint problems of the feet, knees, and hips.
If you want to lose weight through swimming, it is best to do it in a vigorous manner. Swimming freestyle for an hour can burn 800 calories. Swim every other day and you can lose about 3 to 4 pounds every month.
If you cannot adhere to vigorous swimming, you can always swim at a moderate pace for half an hour. This will help you burn 250 calories. It will help you shed more than a pound every month.
Swimming is great for people who want to lose weight. It is also a low-impact exercise, yet provides you with both cardio, strength, and flexibility benefits.