Lose Weight Swimming : Why It Should Be Your Sport Of Choice
When you think about the goals of most fitness routines – lose weight, build muscle, have more energy, etc. – there’s no form of exercise that ticks all the boxes quite like swimming does.
Sure, all exercise is beneficial, but if you’re looking to rebalance your mind and body while getting a killer workout with minimal joint stress, a dose of swimming could just be the best thing for you.
Swimming has been growing in popularity over the last few years as have private swimming lessons. And it’s not hard to see why – who wouldn’t want a leaner, healthier, happier body all while having buckets of fun?
If you’re thinking about trying to lose weight swimming or just take up a new sport, this article should be useful to you!
Whether you’ve had enough of pounding the treadmill, are bored with pumping iron or simply fancy a new challenge, let’s take a deep breath and dive into 8 reasons why you should consider taking the plunge today.
1. Swimming boosts your mental health
Between pressures at work, family demands and the 4 hours of sleep you got last night, it’s not hard to become overwhelmed by life nowadays. And more of us are increasingly feeling under the weather – according to The Mental health Foundation, 1 in 5 of us will experience anxiety or depression over the course of the year.
But swimming provides us with a natural endorphin kick that helps to beat the blues. Evidence shows that swimming just three times per week cuts the risk of developing depression by up to 30%.
What’s more, a Swim England poll showed that in 2018, 1.4 million folks reported that hitting the pool significantly reduced their feelings of depression and anxiety. On top of that, 43% of those individuals said that regular swimming made them happier, while 25% said they felt swimming made life more manageable.
When you’re in the pool, you’re completely immersed. There are no outside distractions, no unwelcome interruptions and no annoying e-mails from angry bosses. It’s just you and the water. The cadenced motions, gentle muscle stretching and rhythmic breathing patterns ease your body into a meditative state of active relaxation.
So, if you feel like you’ve been emotionally drowning lately – head to your nearest pool and swim instead – watch as your problems dissolve into the water.
Cardiovascular health is key when it comes to living a long and healthy life. And while all exercise helps our hearts, many large-scale studies prove that swimming is the top dog.
For example, research from Swim England showed that regular swimming can reduce heart disease and type 2 diabetes by a whopping 41%! Furthermore, getting in the pool often slashes your chance of early death by 28%.
On top of this, a study published in the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education followed over 40,000 people aged between 20-90 years of age. Over an average follow-up of 13 years, just 2% of the swimmers died, compared with 8% of runners, 9% of walkers and 11% of non-exercises.
What’s more, is that swimming is a lifetime sport. It’s suitable for all ages from young to old. That means that we can keep up our chlorinated habit even as we age. With the exception of walking, there are not many forms of physical activity that we can do from toddler to old age and keep reaping the life-enhancing benefits.
In short, the jury is most certainly in, frequent swimming is an incredible form of exercise that strengthens your heart and lungs and greatly increases the chances of living longer.
3. Swimming is gentle on your body
Ever wake up the day after a good run or a heavy gym session and feel like you can’t move? We’ve all been there. One of the biggest advantages of trying to lose weight swimming is that it’s a low-impact form of exercise.
That’s because the water’s buoyancy takes the weight off your joints, meaning you’ll be able to get a fantastic workout in, without worrying about pounding your knees, ankles, shoulders or back into oblivion. Plus the water helps to keep you cool too. So, you’re unlikely to overheat which means you’ll probably end up swimming for longer too – and get even more benefits.
Swimming’s soothing nature also makes it ideal for people who haven’t been life-long exercisers, people dealing with injury or people who have lower back pain or arthritis. It’s never too late to start swimming and it’s far less taxing on the body than running or cycling.
4. Swimming compliments other training
Even if you don’t want to become an out and out swimmer, jumping in the pool a few times a week can help you excel at other sports too.
The results of a survey conducted by OnePoll on almost 1,600 people who run and swim reported that 85% of them said swimming helps them become better runners and 90% said they feel stronger and fitter when they combined running and swimming training.
The beauty of losing weight swimming is that you can make it as intense or restorative as you like which makes it perfectly programmable into your existing training program. For example, a few easy lengths the day after an intense race can be the perfect form of active recovery bringing blood and nutrients to your tired muscles.
And at the same time, if you want to rev up your cardiovascular system and get some serious training in 10 x 100m at 80% effort would get you there in a hurry.
5. Swimming burns a mountain of calories
Pretty much everybody knows that swimming burns calories and can help keep you slimmer, but what most people don’t get is that swimming can burn more calories than hopping on the treadmill.
Depending on your stroke and intensity, just 30 minutes of swimming burns up to 400 calories – and with more demanding strokes like a butterfly, you can expect that number to be even higher. To put that into context, jogging for the same duration burns around 300 calories which means that you get 25% extra calories burned in the pool, without having to get sweat in your eyes. Who said it wasn’t possible to lose weight swimming?
This extra bang for your buck makes swimming the perfect workout for when you’re short on time (provided you don’t get the urge for an extended post-swim sauna session).
6. Swimming builds total-body strength
Looking at Olympic swimmers, it’s hard not to gaze open-mouthed in admiration at their impressively toned physiques. And while a couple of lengths in your local pool is unlikely to turn you into a greek adonis overnight, swimming will quickly develop lean muscles all over your body.
Unlike running and cycling, where the lower body does the bulk of the work, swimming engages all of your body’s musculature. Especially your upper back, triceps, shoulders, core, legs, and chest. The increased density of water provides more resistance to training on land which helps to develop killer muscular endurance and build real strength.
Strength isn’t the only order of the day mind you, research published by The American Physiological Society shows that swimming can also significantly increase bone density which is important for living a full life as you age.
Swimming is undoubtedly one of the healthiest activities that you can do. There’s so much evidence to prove that it not only extends your life but that it increases your quality of life too.
Regular swimmers are more relaxed, have more energy, and have slimmer and more muscular bodies than people who don’t exercise.
If you’re keen on try to lose weight swimming, then that’s great – just remember to start slowly and maybe try one of our 1 to 1 swimming lessons. Don’t try to take on too much too soon and always remember that proper technique is the key to becoming a great swimmer.
If you didn’t have formal swimming lessons as a child, it’s worth considering enlisting the help of a qualified coach to ensure that any technical errors are ironed out in good time.
Most of all remember to relax, have fun and enjoy your time in the water.