Is Swimming Good For Weight Loss?

Dear Tony

I would like to start your diet plan for men but have a problem I hope you can help me with. Due to a long term illness I have to avoid any kind of impact exercise and even the isometric workout you advise for beginners would prove to be painful to my joints.

Is swimming good for weight loss and could I substitute the recommended exercises for a session at my local pool?

The above is a question sent in by Robert in Tempe, Arizona.

First off, well done in not allowing your illness prevent you from trying to look good and keep in shape. Secondly, what a great question!

Swimming is a fantastic way to lose weight and get a good exercise workout with very little risk of injury. Many athletes who are carrying knee, ankle, hip or elbow injuries and so are unable to do their usual track and gym routines will compensate by swimming to keep themselves in shape whilst they recover from their injury.

There are many studies that have proven that not only is swimming good for weight loss and fitness but that it is actually a better form of exercise than walking or running because it is such low impact. As an added bonus did you know swimmers atually age slower?

The University of Indiana conducted a study over several years on the subject of aging and Dr. Joel Stager, one of the researchers had this to say about swimming:

“When you look at all the standard physiological markers associated with the aging process, we see that every one of them is slowed dramatically in people who swim regularly. Exercising in water slows down the aging process, and often quite dramatically – by upwards of 20 percent in some cases. You almost cannot overstate the benefits of exercising in water.”

Swimming and Calorie Loss

Because moving through water has 12 times the resistance of moving through the air you burn a lot of calories when swimming – and I mean a lot. A good session can burn around 500 calories an hour where as a more vigorous session can burn over 700 calories.

A lot of course will depend on your skill levels and style. For example, someone doing the butterfly stroke for 10 minutes will most likely burn more than someone doing a leisurely breast stroke for 30 minutes or more.

Also, someone with a better swimming technique will burn less than someone with a poor one. In other words swimming to lose weight seems to benefit the beginner more. This is because the better swimmer will use less energy to cut through the water. This is counteracted though because the better swimmer will be in the water for longer.

Other Benefits of Exercise Swimming

Not only will you lose weight swimming, you will build muscle strength, endurance, aid flexibility in your joints and give yourself a great cardio workout.

Even if you are a poor swimmer, you should consider it as an alternative should you not be able to do your regular workout routine or perhaps just want a change. Try using a waist flotation aid and then running in the water for a great workout if you can’t swim.

If you are getting on in life but want to keep those joints flexible as well as giving the whole body a good workout try a water aerobics class.

A complimentary copy of The Man Made Diet goes to Robert for asking his question.

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