New Year usually starts with resolutions and goals: to save more money, to travel more, to spend more time with friends, and to lose weight. Weight loss is a serious and important goal, but it takes a lot of time and effort to get there. While gym is probably the first place you will think of, there are alternatives which will make the weight loss journey much easier. Swimming is an incredibly effective way to reach your goal, and when you start, you will fall in love with it.
Swimming is effectiveBenefits of swimming are many: it’s good for your eyes, joints and back, and it burns calories while shaping your muscles. An easy swim is incredibly effective: if you opt for an easy swim for one hour, you can burn up to 500 calories, and if a vigorous effort does not sound too bad, you can lose nearly 700. Your core muscles, glutes, arms and shoulders work like crazy because water is around 800 times denser than air. This means that each movement, each push, pull, and kick will take more effort than you thought it would. You will blast calories and build some nice muscles while you swim.
How much should you swim?An hour in the pool is perfect - you can adjust your trainings as you get stronger. The best way to start is with intervals: 30 seconds of swimming followed by 30 seconds of resting. Pretty soon you will get used to this, which means that you can gradually up your swimming intervals, and down you resting time. At first, 30 minutes will be enough, and you can build up until you get to 60 minutes and manage to swim 20 laps without stopping. For more advanced swimmers, sprinting three laps, followed by a lap of slow swim, and 30 seconds rest is the right pace.
When you start, you will understand why all those swimmers are so lean and muscular. It will be more difficult than you might expect, but as the time goes by, you will notice that you can add more meters every day and that you are getting stronger. Swimming doggy style is not nearly as effective as other techniques, and if you are insecure about your technique, try swimming backstroke first and build your way up to freestyle. Try to remember how much did you swim each day, and just add more meters with each new practice. In a month, you will be surprised to discover that you have more energy, and that you’re stronger than you thought you were.
Gentle but effectiveSwimming pool is the perfect place to work out for those who have weak joints and cannot run or cycle. Because water neutralizes gravity, you’ll feel practically weightless while you move around, and your joints won’t suffer. Not only will they not suffer, but they’ll get a nice little rest as well. The best thing about swimming: you can do your pool workout practically every day without risking an injury. Start slowly, no more than 30 minutes the first time you get in the pool, but try speeding up every time you come back. After several weeks, you will feel strong and confident enough to stay in the swimming pool longer.
Forget about sweating in a gym for hours, and forget about pain in your knees and joints from all the running – swimming is as good for your body as it is for your health. You can be serious about it and train as if you’re preparing for a race or a competition, or you can enjoy a casual swim from time to time. Whatever you choose to do, your body will be grateful you chose such a healthy exercise.