An Important Swimming Secret for Weight Loss
Are you thinking of trying swimming for weight loss, but have been told it’s a waste of time compared to other exercise activities? Here’s an important swimming secret for weight loss and how this exercise compares against walking toward losing weight.
In preparation for the Olympics, gold medal winning athlete Michael Phelps reportedly consumed and burned approximately 12,000 calories per day swimming at the pool. While most of us cannot possibly train like Phelps and lose anywhere nearly as many calories as he can, does this mean that taking up swimming at a novice level will not lead to some good calorie burn compared to say walking or other low impact exercise?
This is a point that was recently printed in Australia’s ABC online news by writer Cathy Johnson who says that some believe that you are better off walking around a pool than swimming in it if you hope to lose weight. Part of the problem is that if you are overweight, then you are more buoyant and thereby will expend less energy to stay afloat than if you were relatively leaner.
While such doubts that swimming is not as effective as walking toward weight loss may have some merit, Ms. Johnson points to a 2010 study that pitted swimmers against walkers with respect to weight loss as a measure.
The study, published in the journal Metabolism―Clinical and Experimental, compared two groups of women who stuck to a year-long exercise regime of either walking or swimming at equal levels of intensity three times per week. At the end of the study, the data showed that the swimmers had lost more weight (about 2 and one-half pounds) and more off their waistlines (just under an inch) than those on the walking program.
The lead author, Dr. Kay Cox― School of Medicine and Pharmacology (Royal Perth Hospital Unit), University of Western Australia―noted that part of the reason why the swimmers may have lost more weight had to do with exercising under cooler conditions in the water can result in an elevated metabolism to keep the body’s inner core warm. This concurs with a NASA scientist and inventor of The Cold Shoulder Vest, who says that swimming in cold water can be a major contributor to the amount of daily calories burned.
However, the other side of the coin of this cool conditioning phenomenon is that it can also lead to a tendency of increased eating to help warm the body after swimming, which unlike exercising under warm conditions, leads to decreased appetite. Hence, here is an important swimming secret to weight loss―be sure to not allow yourself to turn to food after a swimming workout to warm your body advises the ABC news article.
"If you swim, particularly in cold water, the thing you immediately want to do when get out is have something warm to eat or drink to restore your body temperature," ABC news quotes Dr. Cox who notes that the participants in the study kept food diaries and were required to eat the same diet as before they started the exercise program.
Swimming Exercise Advice to Make the Most of Your Workout
• Use your legs intensely when you swim.
• Improve your swimming form with stroke improvement lessons or hiring a swim coach for just a few sessions.
• Alternate laps where you go faster with laps where you swim more slowly to catch your breath.
• Set personal challenges, such as increasing your time to complete a set number of laps.
• Try curbing your appetite after a swim workout with a Dr. Oz-recommended appetite suppressing supplement griffonia simplicifolia or by trying these top 4 appetite suppressants.
For an informative article on going to the pool for weight loss, here are eight benefits of swimming and other water-based exercises.
ABC News (Australia) Feb. 17, 2016 “Swimming to lose weight? You might want to keep a few things in mind”
"A comparison of the effects of swimming and walking on body weight, fat distribution, lipids, glucose, and insulin in older women—the Sedentary Women Exercise Adherence Trial 2" Metabolism―Clinical and Experimental Volume 59, Issue 11, Pages 1562–1573, Nov. 2010; Kay L. Cox et al.