Swimming is a physical activity which puts a little stress on the body and helps lose weight and burn calories. It makes all the major muscle of the body work out and tones you up and helps in slimming down.
It depends on a person’s interest, what level of swimming he would like to go ahead with. Whatever level it is swimming is a good and relaxing exercise.
There are different swimming strokes which burn a different number of calories(1).
- Butterfly Stroke: This stroke burns a maximum number of calories, with a number of 649 calories, if done for one hour in a person weighing 130lb.
- Freestyle Stroke: It is also known as a front crawl and is easiest to perform. It burns around 413 calories in an hour in a person weighing 130lbs.
- Breaststroke and Backstroke: Calories burnt during these strokes is equivalent to calories burnt during a slow jog or a fast walk. Backstroke helps burn 413 calories and breaststroke 590 calories when done for one hour in a person weighing 130lbs.
How Swimming Aids Weight Loss?
If looking for a total body strengthening work out, swimming can provide all of it and much more. It targets the following area:
- Core: Swimming is a great workout for the entire body including core.
- Arms: For most of the swimming, arms are required, so arms get a good workout while swimming.
- Legs: To propel you forward while swimming, legs are used.
- Glutes: Glutes also get worked up while swimming
- Back: Whether doing backstroke or a water-based exercise back muscles get a good workout.
Swimming Improves Flexibility
Swimming increases flexibility, which is due to the nature of movement while performing swimming strokes.
Swimming Improves Strength
- Just like aerobic exercise it pumps the heart as the entire body moves through the water. It also increases body strength.
- Water is 800 times denser than air, which is why the push and pull are like a workout for the entire body.
- As swimming progresses, the muscles build up which in turn burns fat.
- Swimming helps burn calories and aids weight loss and the number of calories burnt increase, as your swimming improves. The calories also burn after you have finished swimming as the body uses energy to recover and rebuild muscle tissue.
Swimming Improves Muscle Tone
Swimming works up all the major muscles of the body so targets every area of the body.
How Many Calories Are Burnt During Swimming?
30 minutes of swimming helps burn 90-220kcal in recreational swimming, 150-370kcal in moderate swimming, and 220-550kcal in vigorous swimming(2).
Can Older People Swim?
You can join swimming at any age. It is a low buoyancy exercise which puts very less pressure on the joints.
It has also been praised for its cardiovascular benefits in older people. Swimming uses so many muscles of the body, making the lung and heart work hard to supply oxygen to all of them. This gives the cardiovascular system an excellent workout.
Any kind of exercise makes you breathe harder, this means the body is working out. As the heart and lungs get stronger they can go for longer before you get tired. This lowers blood pressure.
Therefore along with losing weight regular swimming improves certain chronic illnesses such as heart diseases, type2 diabetes, and stroke.
How To Stay Motivated To Lose Weight With Swimming?
- Make It A Habit: Take out time or fix a time every week to go to the pool. Get an annual swimming pass as it will help save money and encourage you to go more often.
- Take Kids Along: Swimming is a way to have fun together. This will help the kids also develop the habit. It is a good physical activity for them.
- Go Along With A Friend: Go with your friend along, as it will keep you away from missing the sessions, and both of you can motivate each other to be regular.
- Mix Other Activities Along: Playing along with swimming or mixing other activities along makes you enjoy swimming even more.
- Join a Club: Joining a club also keeps you motivated as you make new friends and also you can improve your swimming skills.
Swimming is a great all-around exercise and ideal if you want to stay active and healthy. It also boosts mood and helps keep weight under control.