Going to the gym and running on a treadmill or strength training for hours can become boring at times. This is a rather normal feeling we all go through at some point so if you experience getting into a rut, don’t try pushing yourself into it but change your workout routine for a while. Just like with every other aspect of our lives, diversity is key and your body needs a change once in a while.
If you’re bored with your workout routine, skip the gym and go swimming instead. Your muscles will get toned, your overall fitness will improve and you will also lose weight.
How Does It Work?
Swimming is similar to jogging or cycling in many aspects as it provides you with an aerobic workout session. But the extra kick comes from the water resistance which is 12 to1 4% higher compared to air. Basically, you get to tone your muscles just as you normally would whilst strength training, but without having to use weights! Swimming will also improve your joint flexibility so your shoulders, core, neck and hips will thank and love you for it.
Does It Actually Work?
It does and the results are unbelievable. Go swimming at least two or three times a week and see the results for yourself. But we think it will help if you knew that depending on the stroke, a man aged between 30-40 burns about 500 to 902 calories per hour within an hour of swimming. Compare it with an hour of tennis (512 calories) or biking (328 calories) and you’ve got yourself a winner. Combine your swimming sessions with a healthy diet and lifestyle and you will notice your body getting leaner and more defined as muscle mass increases.
Here is how different swimming strokes can help you get fitter:
Sidestroke is the most basic swimming style and consists of sidestrokes being performed whilst lying sideways. The arms get extended straight above the shoulder in turns backward and forward whilst performing a scissor kick. 30 minutes of sidestroke swimming will burn you 328 calories.
- Front Crawl
Also known as freestyle, front crawl swimming has you alternating overarm strokes whilst constantly flutter kicking your feet. This swimming style has got you facing down in the water and breathing by turning your head from side to side. 30 minutes of freestyle swimming will have you burning between 287 calories (slow paced freestyle) and 410 calories (fast paced).
Similar to front crawl, backstroke swimming has also got you alternating overarm strokes whilst constantly flutter kicking but in this case you are floating face up, not down in the water. 30 minutes of backstroke swimming will have you burning 287 calories.
Breaststroke swimming has you starting off with your palms touching each other whilst pulled into your chest as if you are saying a prayer. Begin by concomitantly extending your arms outwards at shoulder height whilst keeping palms facing down. Turn the palms outward and in a semicircle motion, push until your return to the starting position. Your legs must be extended this whole time but perform a frog kick. This means you need to bring your knees up, kick to the sides and return them to the initial streamline position. 30 minutes of breaststroke swimming will have you burning 410 calories.
The butterfly swimming style is said to be the most difficult swimming stroke of them all as your arms are simultaneously in a windmill-like motion. You start off with your arms stretched ahead, thumbs touching, then you pull down against your waist. Once your arms get close to your waist, take them out of the water just over your head. This is also the time for you to quickly pop your head out of the water and breathe. This whole time your body must imitate a dolphin kick. 30 minutes of butterfly swimming will have you burning 451 calories.