Swimming for Weight Loss & fitness


Swimming

Swimming is a fantastic low cost aerobic exercise that is suitable for almost everyone, no matter what age, size, ability or gender, and easily accessible. It can be done individually as a workout or you can take a more leisurely approach and involve the whole family.

Diving into a swimming pool offers a fun environment at the same time as allowing you to achieve a great all over body workout. By practising a variety of different strokes such as front crawl, breaststroke, butterfly and back stroke you will be recruiting almost all of the muscles in your body, giving you a full body workout.

Health Benefits

Regular swimming can provide a number of general health benefits including cardiovascular fitness and improved stamina. It can be used it to socialise with friends or family, warm up before a workout or simply relieve some of that built up stress. Whatever your reasons, you can reap the rewards of swimming immediately.

Other health benefits include:

  • Regular swimming can help you to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Your heart will become stronger as it learns to work harder to accommodate the extra need for oxygenated blood around the body.
  • Swimming is a low impact sport, reducing the amount of stress upon your joints. The additional buoyancy whilstswimming would benefit anyone who suffers with arthritis or considers themselves to be overweight, allowing muscles to strengthen without excessive load.
  • Swimming is a great addition to most rehabilitation programs, letting the water take your weight and allowing the gentle resistance to help you to stretch and feel a sense of general well being.
  • Swimming enables you to become physically fitter and stronger, as your cardiovascular fitness improves, allowing you to swim faster and for longer. Your swimming will also become stronger as your stroke technique becomes more efficient.
  • Swimming will help put a spring in your step as endorphins (feel good hormones) are released, and over time you will soon start to feel like you have more energy.

Can swimming help weight loss?

Swimming exercises the whole body, heart, lungs and muscles and therefore is a great addition to any training programme, especially if you’re looking for an activity that will keep your heart rate high without the stress and impact on your joints.

If your primary goal is weight loss then some may say that swimming alone is not the best way to shed those extra pounds. Obviously to achieve weight loss we must obtain the right balance between our intake of calories and calories that we burn. Sustaining a high intensity level of swimming for long enough to impact those calories eaten can mean a lot of swimming. In practice A mix of running and cycling activities in addition would generally prove to be more effective in helping you reach your weight loss goals, however any activity you enjoy helps you on your way to shedding the pounds – and it’s better to do some exercise, than none at all.

Food for thought

Nutrition can play a big part in your success when swimming. If you’ve ever run out of energy or noticed you’ve hit a wall with your training, your nutrition might not be supporting your fitness programme. Just as cars need fuel, your body needs food to convert into energy. You will need a certain mix of carbs, proteins and fats that not only provide energy for your swim but supply protein to support muscle growth.

If feeling good, becoming fitter and stronger or reducing the risk of certain health worries are any of your lifestyle goals then swimming has to be one of the most cost effective, easily accessible ways to achieve them.

It’s never too late to start and you can continue for a lifetime. With all the health benefits swimming has to offer, can you think of a reason not to?

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