Going to the gym can be a little daunting when you see all those machines and weights, and it can literally take hours to get through all the exercises you need to give yourself an entire full body workout.
If you’re looking for the one simple exercise that’s the ultimate fat burner, then swimming is the way to go! Not only is swimming fun and easy to do, it’s also one of the best exercises out there if you want to boost your metabolism and burn fat quickly.
If you’re still not convinced, then read on and discover our ultimate guide to burning fat through swimming…
The benefits of water
Water is almost a thousand times denser than air, so every movement you make whilst swimming creates resistance against your whole body. Every time you push and pull through the water with your arms and legs, you’re having a mini workout.
And it’s not just your arms and legs that are feeling the benefits. Your entire body including your shoulders, hips and abs are constantly having a workout. You can very easily burn up to 500 calories an hour when taking a casual swim, and up to 700 if you really go for it.
The added bonus to swimming is that you are also extremely unlikely to get an injury. Because you are almost weightless when immersed in water, there is hardly any strain being put on your muscles. Most injuries when exercising occur when the body makes a sudden movement, or is subjected to a large amount of pressure, like lifting a really heavy weight and pulling a muscle.
This means that the more popular exercises like running or strength training have a much higher risk of injury, but you could swim every day for the rest of your life and it’s possible to never get injured at all!
So not only does swimming give you a lean physique, it’s also extremely safe and gentle on your body!
Why not go to the gym?
Going to the gym is a far more popular choice of exercise, and it’s easy to see why. Most people are very conscious about their appearance and body shape, and don’t really like the idea of revealing lots of flesh at the swimming pool. This is completely understandable, and probably one of the main reasons why swimming takes a back seat.
However, if you are serious about losing weight and achieving a lean physique, then swimming should be included in your fitness routine. Sure, there is nothing wrong with going to the gym, and this is a great way to tone your body and lose weight. But compared to swimming, it may be much harder to keep up.
If you’re training to be the next Mr or Mrs Universe, then lifting weights at the gym may be the way forward. But like most people, you are probably trying to lose weight whilst at the same time build up a little muscle to get a nice athletic and lean shape. And this is why swimming should be your number one choice!
Unlike the gym, swimming provides an easy to perform exercise that covers strength and resistance training as well as cardio, in one easy movement. If you want to achieve this at the gym then you would need to make your way through lots of different machines, which could take a lot longer and could also be a little demotivating.
One of the most important aspects of exercising is motivation, and not only having the motivation to get your ass to the gym, but to also be motivated to train whilst you’re there. Lifting all those weights, and the hours and hours spent on the running machine is enough to drive anyone crazy. Although nowadays we have TV’s and loud music at the gym to keep our brains distracted from the workout, this can still get a little monotonous.
Having fun is the key to a great workout, so if you’re finding the daily grind at the gym is starting to get a little boring, then why not try mixing this up with a little swimming a few times a week. Better still, if the local gym also has a swimming pool, then take a dip after your workout to not only cool down, but to also keep burning fat at the same time.
How to get started
Anyone fairly new to swimming may find it quite difficult at first, as the body is using different parts of the muscles in order to push and pull through the water. Even someone who goes to the gym regularly may find it a little hard going at first, as the body isn’t used to the new workout and breathing techniques required.
So take it easy to begin with and make sure you mix up your routine. This will not only make it more fun, but will also give you a better workout. Splitting the workout into short segments is a great place to start, and don’t worry about taking lots of rests as your heart rate will still be in overdrive for quite a few minutes after you’ve stopped.
Like any exercise, you need to plan ahead and create yourself a routine. If you’re new to swimming then you should plan to achieve just a few lengths at a time with a break in between. You may want to begin with 3-4 lengths of the pool followed by a rest of one minute. Try this about 5-8 times during your visit to begin with and see how you go.
After a few weeks you should be able to increase the amount of lengths without a rest, and achieve more lengths in total. But don’t forget to also try different strokes in between lengths, to maximise the workout.
For example, front crawl, back stroke and breast stroke are popular swimming techniques, so try including all three to get a great full body workout.