If there’s a total body workout that’s easy on your joints, but aggressive on your stubborn fat, swimming is it. After all, you need to move your entire body in the water, or you’ll drown.
Swimming for weight loss makes use of a low-impact sport. Because water is more dense than air, it is more difficult to move through, but it also holds you up more readily than air does. Therefore, swimming both protects your joints and consistently engages your muscles.
Plus, knowledge in swimming lets you develop a life-saving skill that might come in handy some day. See how swimming for weight loss is an added perk when you think about it like that?
However, if you are into the sport for purely the physical benefits, here are a few tips to get you started on how to lose weight by swimming.
#1 Commit Time To Swim Each Day
In order to make the most of swimming for weight loss, you’ll need to commit to a pretty strict regimen between four and six days a week. You should swim for about an hour for each of those days.
Whether you are a beginner or not, you can make the most out of swimming by using some swimming gear like goggles, a swimmers’ snorkel, kickboard, and many others. Check out our article on our favorite swimming goggles, if you don’t know where to start!
While swimming is a great alternative to higher impact exercises like running, the lower impact of swimming requires a slightly longer amount of time committed each day. Ensure that you’re engaging in a steady swimming pace that allows for a moderately elevated heart rate for this period.
#2 Work Up To Increase Your Weight Loss Yield
Most of us aren’t used to swimming four to six days a week or maintaining a steady pace for 60 minutes or more. Because of this, it is important to work up to the pace you’d like to achieve if you’re going to stick to your swimming weight loss plan.
Swimming for weight loss starts by swimming for 30 seconds to a minute and then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat this process for your allotted 60-minute workout time.
As you build up your swimming ability, increase muscle mass, and tone your body, you’ll find that you can up the amount of swim time in relation to your rest time.
#3 Set Lap Goals
Setting goals for yourself is a passive way to stay motivated, and motivation is key to achieving your goals.
Although swimming for 60 minutes is important, ensuring that you are also getting the right amount of exercise in this time is important as well. Set goals to reach certain numbers of laps each week or two. Start slowly and work your way up.
#4 Go For A Sprint
A swimming sprint is a fast-paced swim, much like you would sprint or run on land. This form of swimming for weight loss really helps to burn calories because it increases your heart rate; this is what you should be looking for while trying to burn fat.
Try sprinting for several laps before swimming a slower lap or two. After your slower laps, go back to sprinting several laps.
#5 Vary Your Swimming Techniques
Just as with any other workout, your body can get used to your normal swimming technique. In order to take advantage of swimming for weight loss, you’ll need to keep your body in the adjustment phase.
Vary your swimming for weight loss techniques every couple of sessions, if not every session, to keep your body burning calories and fat. Try using the breaststroke, backstroke, and the butterfly stroke. To really give yourself a challenge, add in some extra kicking exercises.
These will help to increase your heart rate, burn fat, and strengthen and tone the legs, buttocks, and stomach.
#6 Stay Hydrated
You’ve heard it before, and we’ll say it again. Even though you’re surrounded by water (and arguably especially since you’re surrounded by water), you’ve got to remind yourself to drink water. Lots of it.
Swimming is still exercise that makes you work up a sweat, and your body needs water to function properly.
#7 Beware the Swimmers’ Appetite
Research has shown that while swimming is great exercise, individuals who engage in swimming for long periods of time are at risk for gaining weight. Why? Because prolonged periods of swimming have a strange appetite-stimulating effect, and swimmers are at risk of regaining the calories they just burned.
When using swimming for weight loss, be sure that you’re also engaged in a good diet plan. Stay hydrated, minimize indulging, and plan your meals carefully to ensure that you’re not going to consume too many calories for the day if you feel the need for a snack after swimming.
#8 Find a Community
Although swimming for weight loss is not an easy journey, it can be more fun when you have people who are on that journey with you.
Not everyone has a family member or friend who is as committed to their goal as they are.
Taking a swimming class, joining an online forum, or simply having an accountability partner can go a long way in helping you stick to your goals.
Self-motivation is important when it comes to your goals, but having others who you can lean on when you just don’t feel like donning the swim cap can give you that little extra push to get the workout done.
As in other forms of exercise, swimming can become routine if you don’t actively make it as varied and exciting as you can.
Keep these reminders on hand as you begin swimming for weight loss, and you’ll reap the benefits from this low-impact workout. Stay motivated, and stay on track until you achieve your weight goal.
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To your success,