Revealed: Flatten the curve by swimming
If you are like me, you have been staying indoors for a number of days in a row, going out for a stretch or to get essentials. Swimming, gym, and other team sports that many of us rely on for our daily exercise are out of bounds unless you are lucky enough to have them in your home. At the moment, innovative fitness experts allow us to do home work out sessions via Instagram live and those with bikes can cycle for a sweat. For me, running and jogging in the morning have become essential in my daily routine. For many of us, however, physical activity is limited and we are leading an almost sedentary lifestyle. Like in a popular advert doing rounds on social media, this may have led to growth of a curve around your once flat tummy. In this post, I will offer some advice to help you flatten that curve when you go back to the pool.
Weight loss is a sensitive topic and if I could, I would rather stay off it. However, it is among the most common questions I get as a swimming coach. Questions include whether swimming can be used for weight loss, how fast that weight can be lost, and the best way to swim for weight loss. First, we are sure that swimming burns calories and tones muscles, which is important in your weight loss journey.
Researchers have been studying swimming for weight loss. For 12 middle aged women swimming for 60 minutes a time, 3 times a week for 12 weeks, body fat rate was shown to decrease. The women had increased physical strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance with notable decreases in blood lipid (fat) levels. Other researchers also showed similar results.
Like any other physical activity, the intensity and consistency of swimming as well as other lifestyle factors will affect how your body responds. Further, as the body adopts a given swimming stroke, muscle learning reduces the amount of calories that the swimmer burns.
In terms of swimming stroke, butterfly uses the most calories, followed by breaststroke, backstroke, and freestyle in that order. I would recommend an intense workout of about 60 minutes at least two days in a week for weight loss. The swimmer should reduce the number of breaks between laps for maximum impact, for example swimming for 10 minutes then a three minute break. After getting tired due to laps, the swimmer can do water aerobics for the remaining period.
“But coach,” you might say, “I am not a lap swimmer, and in fact I can’t swim. How then can I lose weight with swimming?” I would ask you to take up swimming lessons with Swimaholics. Water aerobics would also be a good place for you to start. In the shallow side, you can focus on doing squats, stretches, and other forms of aerobics in the pool. Lifting pool weights or even sand buckets in the pool can also be a good substitute for laps. For all these exercises, however, I would suggest a mixed approach to include a calorie reduction program to your water activities for maximum impact.