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Swimming to Lose Weight

Swimming to Lose WeightWeight loss becomes possible when you start burning more calories than what you consume. Before you use any exercise including swimming to lose weight, it is good to know the basics - a pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories. Therefore if you are trying to lose 1 pound a week, you need to expend 3500 more calories than what you eat that week. Any exercise that makes it possible to burn calories is good for losing weight. Some of the simplest ones include brisk walking, jogging, climbing up and down a flight of stairs and bicycling.

Swimming to lose weight may not prove very effective unless you are really good and know all the techniques of this exercise well. As an exercise swimming is known to burn calories at a rate of about 3 calories a mile per pound of bodyweight. Swimming is a good exercise for almost the entire body including heart, lungs, and muscles, with very little joint strain. It is excellent for general fitness and to stay active but not a great way to lose weight.

For those who really enjoy the exercise and do want to use swimming to lose weight there are certain precautions and ways to make it more effective. Beginners and amateurs who like to swim regularly can gradually learn to maintain proper form and increasing their lap speed. Here are a few things to be taken care of while swimming to lose weight:
  • Swimmers should work hard on their swimming techniques and formal strokes. Studies show that serious swimmers whose movements in the water are smooth and natural burn considerably more calories than unskilled swimmers who just paddle around. The better you get at swimming, the more effectively it helps you to lose weight.
  • If you are serious about swimming to lose weight, you should alternate between more intensive swimming styles, like freestyle or butterfly, and more leisurely swimming styles, like breaststroke, backstroke or sidestroke. On a day you can do 3 laps of freestyle and then 1 lap of breaststroke. This increases and decreases heart rate, helping you to burn calories more efficaciously.
  • It is important to watch the clock while swimming to lose weight. Gauge the time you take to complete a lap and consistently work to improve it. Like running and aerobics activities, increasing the speed of exercise helps to burn more calories.
  • Beginners should swim slowly and build up their routine over time. If you've just learned this exercise and want to use swimming to lose weight effectively, start with two or three swimming sessions a week--for about 60 minutes at a time. After this you can build up to four or five sessions a week and then six or seven sessions.
Apart from the precautions as mentioned above, swimming to lose weight will bring more results if you learn to control your appetite. One reason as to why swimming fails to help in weight loss is that the exercise leaves swimmers feeling hungry after their workout. This is unlike cycling or running, which tends to reduce one's appetite. You should ensure that you do not put those burned calories back on by eating a big meal after swimming. To lose weight you need to be disciplined besides using the right exercises!
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