For weight loss, most people will opt for the usual gym-based exercises or normal outdoor activities such as running. Not so many people think of swimming but swimming plays a huge role in weight loss, and is one of the sure ways to lose weight. When you swim using correct technique, you are using resistance to move through the water which involves your entire body. Here’s what you need to do to get the most out of your swimming sessions:
1. Rev it
When swimming try to keep your heart rate at a maximum of 80% for as much of the work out as you can. To check your target rate, subtract your age from 220 and multiply by 0.8. To ensure that you are not overworked stop after 10 to 15 laps, using the pool clock to count your pulse for 6 seconds, add a zero to the number. You can lose 680 calories per hour, for the average 150 pound woman.
2. Play around
Get a toy to swim with, like a kickboard, swim fins, hand paddles, or a foam buoy that fits between your legs. The pools you visit have some of these and some local sporting stores. Having fun with this will help you lose more calories without even feeling it, and you will tone your arms and leg muscles too.
3. Mix it up
Swimming is fun but can be technical. To get the best results without getting bored, break up your laps into what pros call a ladder. Take the segmented laps with 15 to 30 seconds of rest in between each in a pattern such as this: one lap, two laps, four laps, six laps, four laps, two laps, one lap.
This is the perfect resistance exercise for the body. Nothing burns calories better than swimming fast. But you don’t have to speed through your whole workout to get the benefit. Try doing one length easy, then one length fast; two lengths easy, two lengths fast; and so on. Or divide your workout into four to six segments and swim one fast lap at the end of each.
5. Rest less
For quicker and more effective results, rest less during your intervals.
Swimming helps burn calories fast, without being an overly stressful exercise, while the feeling of being immersed in water also acts as a temporary pain and stress reliever.