One truly great thing about effective workout ideas is that people who want to exercise cannot ever run out of options. Some popular options for losing weight and staying in shape are jogging, weight training, cardiovascular exercise and yoga. The surprising thing here is that most people seem to forget that regular swimming is an excellent weight loss program. This is probably because a lot of people see swimming as a hobby and not strictly an exercise program. There is also the fact that people who do not have swimming pools in their homes will not consider swimming in public pools. Some other people are scared of water so they would prefer to explore other exercise options. If you happen to fall into any of the categories above, you are really missing out on an excellent weight loss and fitness option.
There are lots of good swimming workouts for weight loss but before looking at these swimming workouts, you need to know the advantages of swimming over other exercise programs. One good thing about swimming is that you can do it practically every day. Things like aching joints, torn muscles and soreness are out of the question for swimmers. Once you dive into the swimming pool, the water neutralizes gravity. This means that you become almost weightless in the water and this gives your joints and your muscles a break. You can swim as often as you like without any risk of injury. You cannot say the same thing for exercises like weight training and jogging, for instance.
Another advantage of swimming is that you are working out in water. The thing is that water is about 800 times denser than air. This means that as you kick, pull, or move you arms in water, you are effectively doing some resistance training. When you swim, the whole body is getting the benefit of a mini resistance workout and this is really great for you. There is also the very important fact that swimming works on most parts of the body. The muscles of the arms, the hips, the shoulders and the back benefit from swimming and this leads to a trim and well-toned figure.
If you want to swim your way to weight loss, you need to know about competitive swimming workouts. You also need to know how long you can train and how many calories you can burn with each workout. Generally, swimming burns between 450-750 calories per hour for the average 150-pound person but this will depend on the stroke the individual is doing. An average 150-pound person can burn about 544 calories per hour if he or she is doing the sidestroke. The same person can burn 476 calories doing the front crawl at a light pace while the fast-paced front crawl can burn as much as 680 calories per hour.
Other swimming workouts for weight loss include the backstroke, the breaststroke and the butterfly. A 150-pound person can burn about 480 calories doing the backstroke. The breaststroke can burn as much as 680 calories per hour while the butterfly can burn up to 750 calories per hour. These figures are based on swimming workouts without any extra measures for maximum weight loss. If you want to combine swimming with other extra measures the results will be dramatic.
If you really want to see the pounds dropping off from your body, you need to add some style to your competitive swimming workouts. You can simply try the swim-run-swim idea. You need to do this on a cool day so that you do not get dehydrated. Swim-run-swim simply means that you swim one lap and then run around the swimming pool. Take a break and do it again and again until your body tells you to stop.
If you find this idea inconvenient or very stressful, you can simply do the swim-and-alternate. This is an effective but convenient swimming exercise program. All you have to do is alternate. Do the front crawl, do the breast stroke and do the butterfly. If you are tired, take a break then do the sidestroke and then do the backstroke. The trick is to avoid monotony by doing different strokes.
You can also try the swim-and-pushup idea. This is one of the best competitive swimming workouts for you because it burns calories, improves body tone and strengthens the upper arms and shoulders. You just swim for about ten minutes come out of the pool and do some pushups and go back into the pool to swim. Remember that you are exercising to lose weight. You are also exercising to stay in good shape. Again, you are exercising in water and the risk of drowning is always there. So do not overdo things. If you are tired, you take a break. Do not force yourself to swim when your body is crying out for a break.
Swimming is a great way to lose weight. It is also a great way to stay in shape. Swimming improves blood circulation and reduces blood pressure. Swimming also makes people look much younger than their actual ages. If you have not made swimming part of your fitness program, do so today.