There are so many ways of getting fit; walk, play tennis, bicycling, jogging, running, swimming, and so much more. Walking, jogging, and running are the easier ones to do. All you need is a pair of shoes and hit the road. For swimming, you will need a body of water; river, lake, pond or a swimming pool. You also need to know how to swim. If you don’t know how to swim, you have to learn to swim.
Why take the extra trouble to learn swimming for exercise purpose only? Well, first, it may save your life someday. Secondly and most importantly, it’s relaxing and least stressful for whole body exercise.
Exercise to Lose Weight
They are all great exercises to keep you healthy. The more effort you give in your exercise, the better results you get. What if you want to lose weight and keep healthy at the same time? Losing weight is all about burning more calories than your intake. You could always go on a diet and lose weight, but that will be a slow process.
To lose one pound in a week you either need to cut 500 calories a day from your diet or burn that. If you walk for one hour, you lose about 280 calories, so the remaining 220 calories you have cut from your diet.
But if you are jogging for the same period you lose the whole 500. So, you don’t need to cut down on your diet. Well, you could, then you will be losing your weight faster. And this may not be a healthy process to losing weight fast. It has to be a slow and steady process.
Here is a chart of calories burned per hour of exercise by a 150-pound woman:
One thing to note here is that the more you weigh, the more calories you lose during exercise as your body will need to work harder to move that extra weight.
Swim to Burn Fat and Stay Fit
Jogging and swimming will burn the same amount of calories. Butterfly swimming burns more than 800 calories per hour. Although very difficult to master, by the butterfly style of swimming you can do to develop most of your muscles. Swimming is a great all-round activity.
The resistance of the water makes you work harder to move through the water. It’s like working out with weights.
The buoyancy of the water reduces the pressure on your joints and provides low-impact therapeutic exercise that’s required during some sports or other injuries.
When you exercise you sweat a lot because your body generates heat and that heat is dispersed through sweat. And this sweat creates an odor. But when you swim, the water constantly cools you down.
Swimming is healthy for your heart, it can lower your blood pressure and protect your heart more than other workouts. It improves cardiovascular function and decreases systolic blood pressure – this is the top number when you measure blood pressure. It increases carotid artery elasticity; this makes it easier to pump blood to the brain.
Benefits of swimming (bullet points):
- Swimming work your whole body, yet it’s gentle on joints
- It helps you to stay flexible
- Help build endurance and muscle strength
- Tones muscles and builds strength
- Regulates blood pressure and protect your heart
- Reduces stress and relaxes you
- Improves coordination and balance
- Swimming is sweat free
- It improves your mood
Learn to Swim in a Swimming Pool
If all the reasons mentioned above does not convince you to take up swim as the best form of exercise, I don’t know what will. Only reason maybe that you cannot swim.
To swim you will need a swimming pool and you can learn to swim there. There are two types of swimming pools, the in-ground concrete pool and the above ground pool.
In-ground concrete pool
There are public pools in your community that you can go for swimming. But some people don’t like to go to the public pools due to several reasons like, overcrowd, personal hygiene, excessive use of chlorine etc. Alternative can be, build a concrete pool in your backyard, which can both expensive and time-consuming. But they are a permanent structure and will last a very long time. They will also increase your property value.
Above ground pool
There are a wide variety of above ground pools available in the market. They come in all shapes and sizes. It does not matter if you have a small yard or a large one or a long and narrow one. You will get one that will fit your yard shape and size. On top of that, you can have it ready for use in a day or two depending on the size of the pool.
The price of this kind of pools is about $500 – $5000, depending upon the size and build material. This is a fraction of the cost of an in-ground pool which can range from $15,000 to $50,000. Some above ground pools can last as long as 25 years.
Running and Swimming, Which One is Better?
They are both excellent exercise for your heart and physical fitness. Running is a high-impact land-based exercise that can lead to injuries to your joints and soft tissue. Although running does not pose any danger to your body, most of the time it the technique that causes the injuries.
The buoyancy of the water reduces your body weight by as much as 90 percent, hence reducing strain on your joints when you swim or do water-based exercise. Long distance runners turn to swimming to recover from fatigue related to running long distances over a long period.
Swimming is, in fact, the best and sometimes the only form of exercise for older people and people with some physical disabilities. This is due to the weight-bearing stress and the associated heat load. Regardless of gender, age and physical disabilities, swimming is the best exercise to get yourself fit.