Swimming and Weight Loss

by Pool Builders on 10-20-2009 in Articles

There is a direct relationship between swimming and weight loss; more and more people are turning to swimming as their main cardiovascular exercise instead of jogging. While research has shown that jogging can have negative impact on some people's joints, swimming has no such problems. In fact, even expecting mothers can swim.

You may already know that cardiovascular exercises are good for aiding weight loss. To reduce weight, there is no escaping from such exercises. When you exercise, your heart rate increases and your general metabolism rate also goes up. This helps to build lean muscles and to burn fats from your body. Usually this means that cardiovascular exercise sessions have to last for a while instead of, for example, an all-out sprint for 20 seconds. Your heart needs to be at a sustained high activity rate for a period of time.

Swimming can provide that. Swimming can be as leisurely or as intense as you like, but do take care to stretch and do some warmups before you start. There's nothing like leg cramp in the deep end of the pool to spoil one's mood for sports. Certain swimming styles use up more calories, so if you know the different styles, it's a good idea to start with a more relaxed one and then gradually switch to a more intense one. For instance, Backstroke is a relaxed style, and Butterfly is more intense.

Try not to go for speed. Rather, aim to do more laps around the pool. Remember that the heart needs a sustained rate, so it's no use for you to break the world record for Freestyle just to pant and leave the pool after that. While it may be able to help you win medals, it won't do much good to help with weight loss. What you need is to pace yourself and set a targeted number of laps to complete for that session.

Be realistic when you set your target, and slowly, as you come for more swimming sessions, increase the number. Challenge yourself a little each time, but do not push yourself too hard. Be sure to bring a pair of goggles when you swim. Some people feel that because they don't open their eyes in the water, they don't need goggles. But it's better to be able to see where you're going in the pool.

As with all exercises, take time to rest afterwards. If you're like me, you will feel a strong hunger pang right after you leave the pool. It has been thought that being surrounded by cold water for a period of time cause these hunger pangs. Resist the lure of ordering too much food. Eat right, eat enough, but do not eat too much.

If you can, make swimming a regular activity. Perhaps you can swim straight after work, or right before you go to the office. As you develop this into a routine, you will find it less tiring and it's harder for yourself to find excuses not to go. If you can, find a pool that is less crowded so you can keep up the flow when swimming instead of stopping for other people.

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