If you’re looking to lose 15 pounds, an ideal exercise to frequently engage in is swimming. This water exercise simultaneously works every muscle in your body, while elevating your heart rate and burning calories. The water creates the resistance you need to strengthen your muscles, and it does so in a way that’s easy on your joints. Thus, you will reap the benefits of strength training and cardiovascular exercise throughout each workout.
Swimming to Lose Weight
In order to swim off 15 pounds, you need to determine how much swimming needs to be done daily, and how many calories you should be consuming. Keep in mind that a pound equals 3500 calories. Therefore, if your goal is to lose a pound a week, you will need to burn an extra 500 calories a day to create that 3500 calorie deficit (500x7 = 3500).
The sport of swimming can torch calories, but you must engage in intense swimming and continue to challenge yourself. An hour of vigorous swimming can burn 600 calories, while an hour of leisurely swimming only clocks in at 350 calories. Therefore, shoot to stay in the water for an hour and keep up a steadily fast pace. It would be great to swim every day, but since you might be tight on time, try to hit the pool at least 5 days a week for maximum results.
Learning the Strokes
If you ever joined a swim team as a child, you are already familiar with the 4 strokes: freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly. If you are not familiar with these forms of swimming, consider getting a swimming lesson (or a training session with a personal trainer) to learn them. Each of these 4 strokes work your muscles in different ways, and you will benefit from incorporating all of them into your routine. This will enable you to burn more calories and continue to shock and stimulate your muscles.
Devising a Routine
Now that you know what it will take to reach your weight loss goals through swimming, you need to devise a plan to get you there. When you hop into the pool, you should have a plan of action and a developed routine. This plan should include all 4 strokes (possibly side stoke as well) and regimented intervals. You should switch off between quick sprints and slower laps, giving it your all for a lap or two, and then bringing your heart rate back down. Be sure to throw in some endurance sessions, where you swim several laps at a steady pace without a break.
You can use equipment during your workout, such as a kick board that allows you to focus on your legs, or a pull buoy that enables you to only use your arms. It is also recommended to use a swimming pace clock in order to time yourself and keep your workout on track. These are the large clocks located next to a lap pool, and most swimming and fitness centers will have them.
If you need help devising a swimming plan, get a trainer or fitness expert to help you. You can also join an adult swim team or enroll in a water aerobics class.