Swimming is a great way to keep active regardless of how fast you’re swimming or for how long – you are still burning calories. If you want to burn fat, high-intensity swimming provides a killer workout that sets the calories on fire. Here’s how swimming is fantastic for your health.
Why swimming over other activities?
Swimming works every single muscle group to give the swimmer a whole-body workout, not only that it improves mood, increases overall muscle mass and flexibility, burns calories, and boosts the metabolism. To make distance with swimming, we have to force our bodies through the resistance of the water. Swimming, as opposed to other types of high-intensity physical activity, offers many benefits. Let’s dive into them:
Low impact – Unlike high-impact forms of exercise such as running or cycling, swimming places little strain on the joints and bones. It is a perfect activity for those with limited mobility or pre-existing conditions that make land-based exercises difficult.
Burns more calories – High-intensity swimming burns more calories than running or cycling at the same pace, plus the water cools your body down as you go so you don’t have to worry about getting sweaty.
Tones the body and builds muscle – As swimming works every muscle, it sculpts and defines the entire physique rather than just targeting one specific area.
How long do I have to swim for and how often to burn fat?
To ensure you are getting the most from your workout and burning fat, you need to swim at a fast pace for an hour. For best results, you should swim 4 to 5 times a week. If you are just starting out and don’t have the stamina to swim for an hour at a vigorous pace, you can start off swimming in smaller increments and work your way up to an hour once your fitness improves. It is better to maintain the speed and reduce the time to maximize potential muscle mass and fat loss.
Swimming techniques for optimal fat burning
There is a huge variety of high-intensity swimming pool fitness activities you can do to get your heart pumping. Here are some ideas to get you started:
HIIT training (high-intensity interval training) – You may have heard of HIIT training before, but did you know that doing this type of exercise in water can help you burn fat faster? What does a HIIT swimming workout entail? I can vary but here is a basic rundown to give you an idea:
Warm-up – Swim 4 x 50-meter laps at a slow pace. You can take a 10-second break between laps.
Laps – Swim 6 x 50-meter laps at a fast pace. You can take a 20-second break between sets.
Cooldown – This is a repeat of the warm-up.
Repeat the intervals mentioned above 3 times except for the 2nd interval drop down to 4 x laps and on the 3rd drop down to two laps.
Tips to burn more fat
Master your technique
To reap the full benefits of your swimming workout, it’s a good idea to master your technique. This will prevent injury and speed up your swim time. You can get lessons from a professional or a cheap alternative is watching videos online explaining how to do them properly. Additionally, don’t be afraid to make use of floatation devices if you need to until you have your technique down pat.
Don’t go too hard too fast
If you are out of shape, it is better to ease yourself into an exercise regime rather than throwing yourself into it. If you work out too hard, this can lead to intense muscle soreness which will prevent you from working out to your full potential and you may need more rest time between workouts meaning you are doing less than you should in the week to burn fat.
Swim in the morning
If you can, swim in the morning before breakfast or wait at least 2-3 hours after eating to train. Swimming on an empty stomach means that your body fat will be used as energy.
Adjust your pace and speed
If you haven’t worked on your fitness in a while, you probably won’t have to work as hard as an experienced swimmer to burn calories. Once you have built up your endurance, you need to adjust your pace and speed to ensure that your heart is still elevating enough to give you an intense workout to burn fat.
Change it up
To consistently lose weight and avoid hitting a plateau, you may need to change up your swimming workout now and then. It is also a good way to keep your workouts interesting to prevent getting bored from doing the same thing week in and week out.
Incorporate other types of exercise into your routine
Swimming whilst fantastic doesn’t have to be your only form of physical activity. Low-impact activities such as walking, stretching, yoga, or water aerobics can be done in between your swimming sessions to keep your body moving. You don’t have to swim daily to achieve your fitness goals.
Once you have got your swimming to a level that you are happy with you can use weights in your laps to give you a more intense workout. This will build your strength and get the blood pumping to burn calories. You can purchase weights that are specifically designed for swimming such as dumbbells and ankle weights.
Make sure your diet is on point
If you want to burn fat, your diet needs to be up to par, otherwise, you may find after a while your body weight won’t shift. A healthy diet is just as important as exercising and you need nutritious and wholesome foods to give you the energy to get you through your workouts. Rather than reaching for snacks, try fuelling your body with filling options such as protein
Want to work on your fitness any day and anytime?
Installing a swimming pool is a great way to work on your fitness in the privacy of your home at any time that you like. There is a huge variety of pool options available and they may not be as expensive as you think. Contact our team here at Barrier Reef National for more information.