Swimming is known for being a good way to burn calories, but it can also be one of the most effective ways to trim body fat and slim down all over. But there’s more to swimming for fitness than just jumping in the pool. Learn how to use swimming as a workout, and it may become your favorite way to exercise.
Choose Your Stroke
If you’re going to swim for exercise, there are four main strokes you can use to burn calories, work your muscles and slim down your body. Technique and form are extremely important, so work on mastering one or two of these strokes. Keep practicing a perfect stroke until the movement feels natural. It’s going to make your muscles sore but after all, that is the point. Practice the freestyle stroke, the breaststroke, the backstroke and the butterfly stroke. Work on one stroke at a time until your technique is perfect.
Set a Time
It’s not necessarily about how many laps you can perform when you go swimming, but how long you stay active in the water. So swim laps, but don’t try to calculate how many laps you’re going to swim. Commit instead to swimming for a set amount of time, such as 20 or 30 minutes. When you’re just starting out with swimming for fitness, start with 20 minutes and begin to work your way up as you get more comfortable and your muscles get stronger.
Get the Right Gear
When you’re serious about swimming, you need to have the right gear. In addition to a swimsuit, you want to have goggles and ear plugs. The water will sting your eyes and ears, and this can ultimately compromise how well you can swim. Protect your eyes and ears, and you’ll be able to focus on your technique and not on the water. You might also want a swim cap. This can make you more streamlined in the water.
Make sure you also have a water bottle with you when you swim. That may sound strange since you’ll be surrounded by water, but you need to keep your body well hydrated while you work out. Keep the bottle near your lane, and grab a drink whenever you need to.
Use the Buddy System
Whenever possible, have a swimming buddy. Swimming can be dangerous. If you don’t have a swimming buddy to swim with, only swim in water that is watched by a lifeguard. If there is no lifeguard on duty, you should come back when there is one available. Don’t ever compromise your own safety for the sake of fitness.
Why Swimming Works
Swimming is one of the most effective and least taxing ways you can slim down. Swimming does not put pressure on your joints and there is a very low risk of experiencing an injury with this exercise. The chance that you will pull a muscle or sprain a joint, for example, is very small. Meanwhile, swimming targets every major muscle group and elevates your heart rate so you can burn calories. Swimming works very well when you want to slim down.
Look for YMCAs, community centers, gyms and public pools in your hometown to find places where you can swim and get fit, and give this exercise method a try.