Exercise Weight Loss Exercises Swimming

If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ve probably considered everything from extreme exercise programs to eating nothing but cabbage soup. However, few people think of a particularly easy and fun method of losing weight: swimming! In addition to aiding weight loss, swimming workouts can improve your overall physique and rev up your metabolism. Learn if swimming for exercise is right for you.

Swimming for Exercise: Methods

You can choose an infinite number of swimming workouts in order to lose weight and maintain optimum health. And the best part? You don’t need to be an expert swimmer to try them. Even beginners committed to losing weight through swimming can shed pounds rather quickly.

When comparing or creating swimming workouts, the following strokes are easy to learn and promote optimal resistance in the water, making them ideal for a weight loss plan:

  • Backstroke
  • Breaststroke
  • Butterfly
  • Front crawl
  • Sidestroke.

Even if you aren’t familiar with these techniques, you can learn them with a little bit of practice. If you’re learning to swim from the very beginning, practice caution and make sure that you have the proper equipment–such as goggles, kickboards, fins and paddles.

How Swimming Can Help You Lose Weight

Depending upon your body’s size and metabolic rate, you can burn a substantial number of calories while swimming for exercise. For example, a 200 lb. person can burn up to 650 calories after swimming the backstroke for an hour, or 1,000 calories after swimming the breaststroke for this same amount of time. Of course, you’ll want to slowly and gradually build up to swimming for this long.

So how can this type of exercise help you lose weight? Swimming targets all the elements of your body you need to challenge in order to jumpstart weight loss, and the water provides additional resistance–as much as 12 to 14 percent. Combined with a sensible diet, swimming can help you burn off excess pounds and achieve a more lean, defined figure.

Benefits of Swimming Workouts

In addition to weight loss, swimming for exercise provides a wide range of other benefits. Swimming is an excellent aerobic workout that tones your entire body, promotes the growth of muscles (especially those that probably don’t get used very often), and relieves stress. In addition, swimming workouts can help you keep blood pressure and “bad” cholesterol levels down.

How can swimming achieve all of this? When you choose swimming for exercise, you get a cardiovascular workout comparable to running, cycling and jumping rope, which can lead to natural and healthy weight loss.

Choose Swimming to Lose Weight

As with any exercise regimen, consult your physician before you begin to make sure he doesn’t have any concerns about potential adverse effects to your health. If your doctor approves this method of losing weight, swimming workouts can provide all sorts of benefits, from increased caloric burn rates and improved cardiovascular health to the development of lean muscle and overall improved energy.


How to Be Fit. (n.d.). Swimming and weight loss – Take the plunge and lose a few pounds. Retrieved September 21, 2010 from http://www.howtobefit.com/swimming-weight-loss.htm

Volckening, B. (n.d). Starting a swimming routine. Retrieved September 21, 2010 from http://www.usms.org/fitness/content/startingaroutine