With spring finally here and temperatures starting to warm up, many of us are frantically trying to shed a few pounds before the bulky winter coats are gone for the season, and before we have to step onto the beach! But if you’re like me, you’ve tried every fat-burning trick in the book and have mixed success, at best. Well, with warmer weather on the way, it’s time to think about the swim season – but not in the way you’d expect! Did you know that swimming is actually an extremely healthy way to lose weight and burn fat?
Swimming is a Truly Awesome Fat-Busting Workout
How do you burn fat? Although there are about a zillion different exercise programs that claim they can burn fat, burning fat actually comes down to one very simple equation: keeping your heart rate in a specific zone that’s measured as a range based on your age and fitness level. The simple equation is that the fat burning zone is 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate, based on your age. This zone burns the most calories from fat, with 85% of the calories coming from fat burning!
For me, at 31, my maximum heart rate is 195, so the fat burning zone for me is 117 to 136 beats per minute. With other types of exercises (particularly running, which I love!) I find that I tend to push myself hard so my heart rate quickly jumps up to the 160s to 180s, and stays there. That puts me in the Anaerobic Zone and the Red Line Zone, which is great for high-intensity calorie burning and endurance training – but only 15 percent (or less) of those calories are from fat!
What does all this slightly scientific mumbo-jumbo mean? It means the best way to burn fat is to elevate your heart rate, but not too high – and swimming for fitness is the perfect way to do it!
Swimming for Fitness is Great for People with Health Problems
Many people want to lose weight, but find that the traditional workouts for beginners, running and walking, are just too tough. People with ankle problems, knee problems, foot problems, arthritis and a variety of other health issues simply can’t log the steps that the healthy among us can. But that doesn’t mean that exercise isn’t possible! Swimming is one of the best exercises for people who need low-impact workouts. Swimming is so good for you that some medical practitioners and physical therapists even recommend therapeutic swimming to help relieve joint pain and recover from physical injuries. So yes, anyone can do it – it’s easy on the body, but hard on fat!
Are you interested in getting more fit through swimming? If you can overcome swimsuit anxiety and get yourself into the pool, you may find this is the best possible workout for you! Join us tomorrow as we look at some tips for people who are starting a swimming for fitness program, and on Thursday we’ll take a look at some of our best swimsuits for fitness training (and to help you overcome your self-consciousness at hopping in the pool!)