What do you look forward to doing on your summer holidays?
Relaxing on the beach. Enjoying a few cocktails in the sun. Taking a dip in the pool.
I love relaxing on a sun lounger and taking a dip in the pool when it gets a bit too hot.
But you know, swimming shouldn't be just be for cooling off. Relegated to a couple of weeks of the year. It's a awesome way to get fit. And if you're trying to lose weight getting in the pool is going to help you no end.
Why is swimming so good for weight loss?
Well there are lots of reasons ... here are a few.
Burn up to 400 calories in half an hour
Yes, yes, we all know that we have to move more to burn calories and lose weight.
Swimming is movement, so yes it's good for weight loss. But there is more to swimming than just movement.
Water is 12 times denser that air, which means swimming is harder than land based exercises like running. Your lungs and your heart work harder getting oxygen in and pumping it around your body. Your muscles work harder moving you through the water.
What does this mean?
More effort means more calories burned in less time.
Always check with your doctor first.
Most people will be able to swim.
Ok so you have to learn to swim first. But after that, there aren't many times you can't get in a pool and do a few laps.
Water helps to support you so there is less impact to your body.
If you're new to exercise, recovering form an injury, pregnant, or just really tired, swimming is a great way to get in some exercise.
My dad swam lots when he was recovering from a dislocated knee cap. Ouch. In fact that's when he taught me to swim. And I've loved it ever since.
The support also means you can exercise at higher intensities for longer and more often. But let's not worry about that just yet.
Just start getting in the pool first.
Beat stress to boost your weight loss
These days most of us are stressed.
Whether it's work pressures, family life, or a traumatic event, most of us suffer from stress at some point during the week. If not all the way through the week.
Managing stress levels is really important for your general health. But it's also critical if you want to lose weight. The hormones your body produces when it is undergoing stress basically results in keeping you hungry and not burning as much energy.
This is so you have enough energy to run away from that lion if you need to.
But you can see how destructive it could be to your weight loss efforts.
Going for a swim can hugely reduce your stress levels. Several studies have shown that swimming produces the same relaxation responses as yoga. Being submerged in water dulls the amount of sensory information that bombards your body helping bring on a sense of calm.
It also helps to increase the blood flow to the brain. Which is hugely important if you want to feel better as well as look better.
Swimming can make you 20 years younger
Ok, so this one isn't directly linked to weight loss.
But who doesn't want to be a bit younger as well as a bit thinner? Studies have shown that people who swim regularly are biologically 20 years younger than they actually are.
Blood pressure, cholesterol levels, cardiovascular performance, central nervous system health, cognitive functioning, muscle mass and blood chemistry were all similar to someone 20 years their junior.
My husband thinks it is the secret to my youthful looks. And whilst I can't comment on that, I do love to swim :-).
Ok, so you're on board with the idea of swimming. But how do you keep it interesting?
Swimming up and down, up and down is really boring, isn't it?
Well, it doesn't have to be. Swimming laps can be very therapeutic. You don't really have to think about anything else. You can let your mind wander, focus on your breathing, or bring your attention to the feel of the water around you. Whatever feels right at the time.
You'd be surprised how creative you can get when you just let your mind wander. So, if you're struggling with a problem that you just can't find the solution to, go for a swim. Don't think about anything in particular and see what comes to you.
But anyway, I digress.
Swimming doesn't have to be about just getting in the laps. For a start, it doesn't have to be in a pool. A bit of sea swimming? That would keep it interesting.
If that's not for you, you can mix up your swimming programme by:
A bit of high intensity
Isolating your arms or your legs
Trying to walk, or even run.
You can just get in the pool and mess around. Like you do when you're on your summer holiday. Summersaults, handstands, being thrown about, jumping in, diving, lylo races, pool volleyball.
Exercise doesn't have to be all serious all of the time.
Have fun. Crack a smile. Don't take life too seriously.
So go. Take the kids for a swim.
Throw them in the water a bit. Have a swimming race.
But get in the pool.
You'll thank me for it.
If you want help to put together an effective swimming for weight loss programme, contact me.
© e-Slimmer 2021
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