Splashing around in your backyard pool on a Sunday morning conjures up the image of a happy family bonding over the weekend, but things will look a little different if you’re swimming with the main goal of burning fat and losing weight.
Apart from just being fun, swimming is actually a great workout if you choose to use your pool for that purpose. A lap pool is ideal for those who want to swim to get in a good workout. As a form of exercise, swimming comes out on top because it is a full body workout that works on different muscle groups. It’s also easier on the joints because of the buoyancy offered by the water, making it a great form of physical activity for people from different age groups. Unlike running, it’s not stressful for the joints and can help people burn fat effectively.
If you want to maximize your fat burn through swimming, pay attention to these tips.
Plan in advance
Swimming to burn fat isn’t the same as swimming for fun with your friends. If you’re serious about burning fat through swimming, you need to do your bit and plan ahead. You will be able to lose more than double the number of calories when you swim with the purpose of losing weight as opposed to going for a leisurely swim.
Make sure you have an intense routine in mind which will allow you to burn the fat and achieve the results you want. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has emerged as a popular method of training wherein you alternate fast intervals of swimming with slow ones to maximize the amount of fat burned. These intense workouts can last as little as 15 to 25 minutes, but they can prove to be more effective at burning fat than light or moderate swimming for an hour.
Make sure the intervals last anywhere between 30 and 90 seconds, with the amount of effort you need to put in varying depending on whether it is a fast or slow interval. Fast intervals will typically require about 85% of your effort at least while slow ones can be done utilizing about 25% of your effort. You can progressively increase the timing of your workout as you build your stamina and get comfortable with it.
Planning your routine and workout in advance will make it easier for you to achieve your fat-burning goals through swimming in your fibreglass swimming pool!
Warm up and cool down right
There's no need for you to jump into the pool and start with your main workout right away. In fact, we strongly advise you against doing this if you want to see results from your fat-burning efforts.
It’s important to warm up by going for a walk, jog, or performing some light strength training exercises before you go for a swim. The first 20 to 30 minutes of any exercise is actually the time when your body starts burning carbohydrates for fuel. Only after this period of time does your body begin to burn the excess body fat for fuel. So before you jump into the pool and start your workout, choose to do some form of physical activity that engages your large muscle groups while elevating your heart rate.
Swim when your stomach is empty
If you’re an early riser and have access to a pool in the morning before starting the other activities for the day, it’s a good idea to go for a swim. Make sure you do this before you have any breakfast to see the results you want. If you can’t go for a swim early in the morning, make sure you wait for at least 2 hours after you eat to go for a swim so that you’re not swimming on a full stomach.
After we eat, insulin levels are raised and this lowers the fat from being utilised as energy during any physical activity. When we swim in a fasted state, any physical activity results in the body’s stored fat being converted into energy so you will get to see results a lot faster this way.
Even swimming leisurely requires a good deal of energy, so you can imagine just how much more energy you will be spending when you’re swimming with the goal of burning fat. Apart from the energy required, being in contact with the cold water also results in swimmers feeling very hungry after a good swimming training session.
If you’re not careful with what you eat, you could just end up stuffing yourself with junk after a swimming session. This would be counterproductive to your goals because it would actually result in you putting on more weight, so it is imperative to make adjustments to your diet when you’re swimming to burn body fat.
A diet rich in whole foods, vegetables, fruits, and ample protein sources is necessary to complement your intense swimming sessions and help you meet your goals. You could even keep a protein shake handy so that you have it after a swimming session. You can also keep some healthy snacks around like nuts and get rid of the junk food in your kitchen so that you’re not tempted to snack on junk food every time you want to grab a bite.
Switch up your routine
Doing the same workout every day is only going to make sure your body gets used to it and hits a plateau. If you really want to burn fat and see results quickly, it’s imperative that you switch up your routine every now and then and incorporate some change by stepping out of your comfort zone.
You could try different strokes that focus on a variety of muscle groups to achieve the results you’re looking for. The butterfly stroke can help you lose the most calories in the shortest amount of time, but if that’s too difficult for you, freestyle should work just fine. Make sure you vary the intensity and time to get the best results.
With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to burning that unwanted fat and achieving the body you’ve always dreamed of.