Figuring out where you should start your workout regimen is tough for anyone, but when you are overweight or obese the thought alone can be daunting.
According to Vascular radiologist and fitness coach, Swetha Devaraj, ‘Swimming is a great option for everyone from an athlete to someone who has never worked out and is obese because they don’t have to depend on anyone to do this. What’s more, swimming is a sport that gives a great cardiovascular workout improving your heart health and reducing your cholesterol.’
Here’s why swimming is the best way for you to lose weight without hurting yourself.
- Whole-body workout: When you’re in the water your entire body works to help you move, stay afloat and keep your body temperature up. Apart from that, research has found that using certain strokes can help you burn more calories than others, so picking a regimen that helps you workout while in the water is perfect. Swetha Devaraj, Vascular radiologist and fitness coach, says, ‘Swimming works your whole body making your core and upper body stronger than ever. ‘It’s a lot of fun and meditative. It’s important to have fun with whatever we do.’
- Helps you workout longer: Walking, running, or even going to the gym can be strenuous, not to mention all the sweating that occurs, making you sticky and uncomfortable. Well, swimming is one activity that does not involve sweating and the discomfort of aching joints. Therefore, helping you work out longer.
- Easy on your joints: Being overweight exerts significant pressure on your joints, add to that, sometimes it can aggravate conditions like arthritis. Swimming is one workout that can help since the buoyancy of water cushions joints, challenging the body without putting pressure on your joints.
- Helps tone and strengthen your muscles: While the buoyancy of water can reduce the stress on your joints, it also poses a fair bit of resistance, making your body work harder to perform any function.
- Aids in burning more calories: Since water is usually cooler, your body burns calories trying to warm you up. What’s more, the resistance of the water makes a workout more challenging. All in all, if done right, swimming can help you burn more calories.
How to start
- Get proper swim gear: Getting a swimming costume, swimming goggles and a cap are essential before you start.
- Go for a swimming class: If you are unaccustomed to swimming, or simply haven’t been in touch with the sport, then going for a class could help.
A word of caution
With swimming, your body is likely to burn more sugar [anerobic phase of swimming]  than fat leading to a strong craving post your workout. Therefore swimming at a rate that is not too fast can help you burn more fat and beat that craving.
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- Gappmaier, E; Lake, W; Nelson, A G; Fisher, Aerobic exercise in water versus walking on land: effects on indices of fat reduction and weight loss of obese women, A G. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness; Turin Vol. 46, Iss. 4, (Dec 2006): 564-9.
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