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How to Swim For Weight Loss

Swimming For Weight Loss?

Swimming has gotten a bad rap as an exercise for weight loss. Unlike running, which curbs your appetite, swimming seems to increase it.

Studies comparing swimming with walking and cycling weight-loss programs found that swimmers gained five pounds on average, while the other two groups lost between 17 and 19 pounds. The culprit seems to be the increased appetite that follows working out in water, since swimming lowers your body temp and the body crave calories to help heat it back up. Plus the swimmers weight gain could be attributed to an increase in lean muscle mass, which would have changed their body composition without weight loss.

See how I think you can make swimming part of your weight-loss plan, when you

If you are swimming for weight loss, I don't believe you should give up on the pool entirely — swimming is a great full-body exercise. I do think you should add some cardio training on land. I am a firm believer in cross-training, so adding strength training and walking or running will help burn calories as well as build bone density, which is another benefit of weight-bearing exercises that you miss out on when swimming. When you do finish a swim workout, take a sauna, a steam, hot tub, or a hot shower to help heat your body. Also try sipping on some hot herbal tea as a post-workout drink.

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
commonsense102 commonsense102 7 years
This is great to know because I just started swimming to give my workout variety. Today was my first day and aside from needing lots of work on my breathing and technique and feeling totally self conscious about the lifeguards watching me and smirking at my spastic style... afterward I was starving. I came home and went on a mini carb binge... : ) I like the tips about sitting in the hot tub and drinking hot tea... the body temp makes sense and now that I know that... no more carbs binges!
darc5204 darc5204 7 years
I had no idea, but I guess I'm not surprised. I love swimming, but I do feel hungry afterward
I don't know about the whole gaining weight thing, but I am STARVING when I get out of the pool
jkat jkat 7 years
As a competitive swimmer on the national level for 15 years, I worked out for 3-6 hours a day. I was always STARVING and ate pretty much whatever I wanted. All of us swimmers always said that swimming made us hungrier than anything else and our favorite "myth" at the time was that swimming could not lead to weight loss. I guess we were partially right that swimming wasn't the best cardio for getting skinny :-)
runningesq runningesq 7 years
oh, but men lose weight! unfair !!
runningesq runningesq 7 years
calories in versus calories out. I am always STARVING after a swim... after this morning's 4500M swim I came home and inhaled everything not nailed down. It's not unique to swimming, though -- I know A LOT of women who gain weight (or don't lose) while training for endurance events.
lydialee_home lydialee_home 7 years
Yes - Strength training definitely help. I went to our Y for 8 years now - only swimming for the first 5 years, and there's no change on my weight. As soon as I pick up weight training - my weight remain the same, but I have more defined muscle. About 2 years ago, I picked up running, that's when I start to lose weight.
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