Obesity is a big problem. It affects millions of people worldwide, both adults and children. Around 29% of adults are classified as obese in England, and about 35% of adults are obese in the USA.
In 2019, the World Health Organisation estimated that – globally – 38 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese: that’s about the same number as the population of Canada, Poland, or Afghanistan!
If you count yourself among these people, don’t despair. The good news is that obesity is both preventable and reversible! And getting healthy doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. You may have got into a vicious cycle of physical inactivity because the extra weight has limited your range of motion, put pressure on your joints, and sunk your self-esteem. However, luckily, there is one form of exercise which can eliminate all of these drawbacks: swimming!
But wait, before diving into swimming, and you must understand what obesity is and how it affects your body….
What Is Obesity?
According to WHO, obesity is defined as “abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. A body mass index (BMI) over 25 is considered overweight, and over 30 is obese.”
Obese people are at a greater risk of many fatal conditions, some of which are listed below
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels
- Type II diabetes
- Coronary heart diseases
- Gallbladder problems
- Sleep apnea
- Breathing problems
- Depression and anxiety
- Body pains
To avoid all these life-threatening conditions, you must lose weight. For obese people, swimming is the best exercise that can help melt extra fat from the body.
Full Body Workout:
Swimming is the perfect full-body workout that benefits you in countless ways. But diving into the pool daily helps you increase your core strength, boost your confidence, and help you lose weight!
Due to the amount of resistance it exerts, water can be very difficult to move through. So while swimming, you have to use all your muscles to fight against this resistance in an effort to swim.
Since swimming is an activity that involves all the upper and lower body muscles of the body, it increases heart rate, and in this way, you burn calories. And burning more calories means fighting obesity resulting in losing weight.
Feel weightless in the water!
Swimming is preferred over other forms of exercise like jogging or walking because it is a low-impact workout which means that it causes less pressure on your joints. So, if you are getting old or have some joint pain, No Worries, just get yourself goggles and a swimsuit and jump into the pool…!
Swimming breaststroke or backstroke will burn the same number of calories as a slow jog or fast walk without the stress on your joints. Plus, the resistance of the water gives you a total body workout in a way that jogging doesn’t, stretching out your muscles and increasing your all-over mobility.
So by splashing through the pool, you enjoy, and you lose extra fat on all the muscles of your body. Swimming helps you tone and shape your body. You not only lose in kilograms but in inches also.
When you take steps to reduce your stress levels, it has a positive effect on your heart, muscles, and brain, and it can ultimately lead to a longer, healthy life.
But don’t panic if you are splashing through water daily. Swimming can significantly improve the performance of your heart by increasing its strength and efficiency. A strong heart pumps blood more efficiently, improving circulation of the blood throughout the body. So as swimming benefits circulation and cardiac efficiency, it reduces the risks of cardiovascular disorders.
As swimming increases your heart rate, you burn more calories. Splashing and floating through the water, you wash your stresses away. You lose weight at a faster pace with a healthy mind and heart.
Enhanced lung Capacity:
Besides cardiovascular strength, swimming has a very profound impact on the lungs. As you swim, you need more and more oxygen to take in due to increased heart rate. This oxygen is supplied by the lungs. So to meet the body’s requirement of oxygen, lungs expand in size. And repeating this daily by swimming leads to structural adaptations of increased lung capacity.
With swimming, the breath-holding capacity also improves. Swimmers have to time their breaths according to their strokes. The much-needed next breath is not always available at the same instant you need it. So swimmers have to hold their breath which improves their breath-holding capacity.
So if you are obese and have some respiratory disorders, just go to your GP and discuss your swimming options with him. Even asthmatics can reduce weight by floating in water for 30 minutes daily.
Improved Core Strength:
The most important aspect of swimming which benefits you is core strength. Strengthening your core can bring about many advantages, such as the prevention of injuries, reduction in back pain, improved lifting mechanics, better balance, improved stability, improved posture, and even improved athletic performance.
Obesity is usually associated with poor posture and back aches. Due to back aches, you are unable to do high-intensity weight loss exercises. Poor posture can cause headaches, migraine, and decreased flexibility and balance.
So swimming helps you by putting less pressure on your back. You have the least impact on your pain area, and you still manage to lose extra fat. Along with an improved back, you also manage to refine your posture, which boosts your confidence.
Refresh and Cleanse your Mental Health!
There is something particularly therapeutic about being in the water. Swimming is meditative and rhythmic. It focuses your breathing and brings you peace of mind. If obesity is affecting you mentally, there’s nothing like a cold splash, a flood of endorphins, and a hot shower to banish negative thoughts. You are only one swim away from a good mood!
In addition to the release of endorphins, swimming is also known to increase the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which is a protein in your brain and spinal cord that enhances the growth and maintenance of neurons.
Splashing through cold water in summer elevates your mood as well as helps you enjoy deep sleep. Your body rejuvenates itself during deep sleep.
Don’t Sweat It!
While some people love the feeling of sweating and releasing toxins, it can be uncomfortable – particularly for obese people.
Obesity is one of several conditions that can cause excessive sweating. If the mere thought of a stuffy gym makes you nervous and sweaty, turn to the pool! In the water, you won’t overheat or feel sticky and sweaty. When you lose weight through swimming, your body will be smaller, you’ll burn fewer calories and produce less heat, in turn reducing how much you sweat… and you may even be ready to show off your new weight loss in the gym!
How To Start:
To start your weight loss journey, first of all, you should watch your diet. You must opt for a healthy diet. No exercise on earth can benefit you if your diet is not proper. A balanced diet coupled with a high-intensity workout can give you excellent results.
Secondly, consult your physician and discuss all your options. Design a detailed plan and stick to it. Don’t forget “consistency is the key.”
Start your exercise by warming up and stretching. You can warm up by simply walking in place and stretching your arms. It will take only 5 minutes, and you will feel ready for exercise.
Start out slow… then gradually increase your swimming time.
Once you are used to the swimming routine, then use pool equipment like noodles, water float weights, and float belts. This will increase your resistance, and you will lose weight fast.
Interval training is an excellent way to challenge your metabolism after you finish your exercise. Interval training is when you swim slowly for 1-2 minutes and then go fast for 1-2 minutes. After completing this routine, make sure to take a five-minute lap to cool down in order to finish properly. Now if you can’t make up your speed till 1 minute, gradually increase it for 20-30 seconds, then slow down and let your heart rate be stable. Repeat this process, and you will be able to lose weight fast.
Consistency is the Key:
YES…!!! To lose weight, “consistency is the key.” You have to be super motivated and dedicated if you want to shed your extra pounds. Swimming once a week or occasionally will not affect the scale. You have to be very conscious about your swimming routine if you really want to be a head-turner.
For continuous weight loss, you have to jump in the pool for 60-90 minutes five to six days a week. Now indoor swimming is the type that is easy to stick to, and you can continue it all over the year regardless of the weather conditions.
How Much Weight Can You Lose through Swimming:
The amount of weight you lose with swimming depends on several factors like
- Your current weight
- Your metabolism
- Your level of motivation
- The intensity of the workout
- Your diet
Which Type of Swimming Helps You Lose Weight Fast:
Swimming is a very healthy exercise that increases your heart rate and breathing. There are four types of strokes. The breaststroke, backstroke, freestyle, and butterfly stroke. Every stroke has its own level of intensity.
You have to choose which type of stroke suits you according to your health condition.
The breaststroke is a workout that slowly increases in intensity and challenges the cardiovascular system over a longer period of time. On average, it burns 250 calories in a 30-minute workout. It helps strengthen the heart and lungs and shapes thighs, triceps, upper back, lower legs, and hamstrings.
The backstroke is also a low-intensity workout that improves your posture. It also burns around 250 calories in a 30-minute workout. It refines your posture while shaping your shoulders, arms, legs, and buttocks, as well as improving the flexibility of your hips.
The freestyle stroke is a faster workout that burns more calories. It burns almost 300 calories in a 30-minute workout. It tones your shoulders, buttocks, stomach, and back.
The butterfly stroke is a difficult workout that is hard to learn. It is not usually recommended for beginners. It burns almost 450 calories in a 30-minute workout. It is very effective in building and toning muscles, improving flexibility, and enhancing upper body strength.
To get the maximum benefit out of your swimming, you should mix all types of strokes to make it challenging for your body and lose as many calories as you can.
Feeling inspired? If you are ready to experience all the health and confidence benefits of swimming, go ahead and book that first lesson now!
Swimcore offers tailor-made, empathic, and motivational swimming sessions in North London. Our experienced instructors have helped so many people achieve their weight loss goals through swimming, and we would love to help you too!
So What Exactly Can You Expect from a Swimcore Lesson?
Swimcore will work with you to devise a pragmatic, feel-good workout plan and help you gradually build up your time in the water to the recommended 60 minutes of exercise a day. We’ll use noodles, kickboards, water dumbbells, and ankle and wrist weights to add resistance to your routine as you build strength. We’ll help you work out at your optimal speed to lose weight (usually around 70% of your all-out effort). We’ll give you dietary tips, motivational music playlists, workout resources, and much more…
We’re always here for a friendly pep talk or to offer practical swimming advice!
What are you waiting for… give us a call or book a lesson today!
Before you take that life-saving plunge and book a lesson, remember to consult your doctor before doing any new exercise regime and to couple exercise with a balanced and nutritious diet for the best results!