Swimming and calories
Calories are a unit for measuring the energy expended by an individual. If a pound is used to measure weight, a calorie is also used to measure the energy being used. When you are active, you are automatically spending energy.
For example, if you are just sitting and apparently doing nothing, even then you are burning calories. The human body requires a certain amount of calories to keep the normal functions in good order. That is why it is necessary to avoid hard diets that deplete your calories suddenly.
To avoid weakness while trying to reduce weight, one should have their regular requirement of calories, and then some more. This calorie intake should be a little less than what you are burning during the day.
In other words, the exercise that you are getting on a daily basis should be able to burn enough calories so that the calories burned are more than what is actually going into your digestive system. Having a tab on what you put in your mouth can be very taxing, leading to lesser excitement for eating.
Also, abstaining from eating your favorite food can actually make you indulge in food cravings that lead to eating more than usual. So, balancing a good exercise routine will allow eating as much as you want, as long as you are burning the calories.
What could be considered as a good workout?
It can be anything that keeps you motivated enough to continue regularly. Some prefer working out at the gym under the supervision of a good trainer. Others prefer more spontaneous ways like jogging at the park early in the morning, feeling the morning mist until the sun comes up.
There are also people who have invented unique methods of keeping themselves active throughout the day. One must find out first what the best form of exercise is for them personally.
Swimming, the activity that this article is going to focus on, is one of the best ways to burn calories effectively. It is without comparison, one of the most satisfying activities that keep you motivated as well as burn calories. This activity targets the entire body and the multitude of muscles present in it. It not only leads to a considerable loss of calories, but also helps to build strength.
Muscle strength is very much improved once you start swimming regularly. Endurance is another area where swimming helps tremendously. There are not enough words to explain how effective swimming can be for the water lovers. The heart keeps getting stronger every day you continue to swim. There are no restrictions to who can and who cannot use swimming to lose calories. Anyone without a fear of water can jump in and burn those annoying pounds off.
Who came up with it?
The history of swimming is very vague to say the least. As we all know, there are various styles of swimming. Among those, some styles are fast and some are slow. It will be interesting to know that Early England preferred only the breast stroke as classy. The crawl was considered not up to the standards even though it was faster.
When games and competitions later gained in prominence, other styles were tolerated. Germany, in the earlier times, considered swimming as obscene as it involves dressing down. In those conservative times, swimming was not exactly encouraged.
Surely, the ignorant did not know what they were missing in terms of keeping a fit body through swimming. That was the middle ages and a lot has changed since then. It is believed that man learnt to swim by observing the animals around swim and passed this skill from generation to generation. Now, swimming is a skill never to forget once learnt.
With the introduction of swimming in the Olympics, the techniques, styles and other technical aspects involved in swimming came to the fore front. The games themselves were highly popular with individuals fighting to break records one after the other. Even in those days there was a steady rise in the demand for swimming competitions.
As the Olympics progressed, more swimming routines began to be introduced each time. Now the type and number of competitions with just swimming involved are quite many. From leg paddling to complex dance routines in water, swimming has come a long way.
Anyone can observe that a swimmer’s body is lean, supple and muscular while at the same time very strong and fit. This type of body can be achieved with regular swimming.
Water holds a person’s weight, which in turn improves your ability to perform other exercises without much effort. Swimming is the best forms of improving endurance in your body. Here are some facts summed up in brief.
• Almost all the muscles present in the body are targeted during swimming
• Overall strength is slowly but steadily increased with swimming
• The heart becomes stronger if swimming happens regularly
• It is better than running, where your weight can work against you
• Swimming is perfect as a form of activity for cross-training
• There are lesser leg or joint pains and injuries in swimming, unlike other rigorous exercises
• On the other hand, those with joint or leg injuries can still swim to lose weight
• It can be used as the ideal warm up or cool down routine during other exercises
• The lungs are in a much improved condition when there is regular swimming, as it increases lung oxygen capacity
• Simply, swimming helps reduce cholesterol. This effectively reduces risk for stroke and other diseases of the heart.
How many calories does swimming burn?
To answer the most important question of the hour, swimming burns a considerable amount of calories. For every pound of weight in your body, you can burn three calories for every mile covered in swimming.
For example, if you weigh something like a hundred fifty pounds and are swimming at a speed of one mile per thirty minutes, the calorie burn rate is approximately 900 every hour. That is a good burn out compared to many exercises.
Now, this speed is not possible for everyone except the regulars. To gain that level of work out while swimming, one must train themselves to reach that fitness level as well as speed. Burning those many calories is possible when you swim one lap per minute in an Olympic sized swimming pool. For starters, a burn rate of eight calories can be expected every minute. Those who swim slower are expected to burn fewer calories than mentioned above.
Exercise and Swimming
Every exercise has a minimum amount of intensity that one must reach before they can expect to begin burning calories. As far as weight loss is concerned, the best results are seen only with high intensity exercises and swimming is one of them. However, if the swimming is not hard enough, there will be no visible effect on your weight loss.
The best way to approach this method is to begin slowly and gradually increase the intensity along with the speed each time you take to the swimming pool. Soon, you will see for yourself the benefits of regular swimming.
To get the maximum benefit, start with swimming for 10 minutes in the first week, during which you must alter thirty seconds of swimming with thirty seconds of rest. Then, in the second week, perform a lot of kicking exercises without much involvement of the hands. As the practice continues, add more minutes for swimming by decreasing the minutes spent resting.
Soon, you will be able to continue to swim without breaks. From here, you can simply focus on increasing either the speed or the time spent in swimming or both. Without warning you will have better fitness and body weight, all the while having fun.
Calorie loss in different swimming styles
The amount of swimming calories burned while swimming different styles per hour basis is given below.
• Moderate swimming – 327 calories
• Fast swimming – 817 calories
• Synchronized swimming – 654 calories
• Sidestroke swimming – 654 calories
• Leisurely swimming – 490 calories
• Freestyle slow swimming – 572 calories
• Freestyle fast swimming – 817 calories
• Butterfly swimming – 900 calories
• Breaststroke swimming – 817 calories
• Backstroke swimming – 572 calories
Please not that these values represent the calories lost for a person weighing 180 lbs. With increase or decrease in the weight the calorie burn rate also increases and decreases respectively.