Swimming while Trimming
A swimming pool might not be your first thought when you think about weight loss — but perhaps it should be, especially during the hot days in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Swimming is a one-of-a-kind workout. Not only is it a low-impact form of cardiovascular exercise, but it tones and firms muscles in a non-jarring way. It ignites metabolism, burns calories, trims inches and builds strength and stamina — all without stress on your joints. For instance, one hour of swimming laps burns more than 500 calories in a 200-pound person, according to the Mayo Clinic. Besides all of those beneficial factors, it’s a fun activity.
The Benefits of Water for Weight Loss
Water is denser than air. For this reason, every kick, stroke or pull through the water involves resistance of your entire body, particularly your arms, hips, shoulders, buttocks and core. So, in addition to burning calories, you simultaneously build up lean muscles when you are getting active by swimming. Combined, this boosts metabolism so that your body continues to burn calories even after you’ve changed out of your bathing suit.
Swimming works out both your upper body and lower body at the same time. When you use the water’s resistance, you have an effective way to target stubborn problem areas.
You also weigh less in water, which means you are more likely to exercise vigorously and longer. Since swimming doesn’t cause the same pressure or stress on your joints that some exercises cause, you won’t experience the same aches and pains during and after swimming that you might feel from those other exercises. This makes swimming an ideal activity to help you in your weight loss efforts.
Swimming is for Anyone who Wants to Lose Weight
One of the best reasons to opt for swimming when getting active for weight loss is that practically everyone can do it, regardless of size, experience, age or ability. It is especially beneficial for people who are very obese and who cannot do strenuous weight-bearing exercises, such as running or jogging.
Tips for Swimming for Weight Loss
Consider these practical tips when beginning a swimming regimen for weight loss:
- Consult with your doctor before beginning any type of aerobic exercise, including swimming.
- Stretch and warm up before entering the pool. Do arm circles and arm stretches for a few minutes before getting into the water.
- Use swimming accessories. Swimming floats and pool noodles can help add even more resistance to your swimming routine.
- Start slowly, but increase your intensity level and duration over time.
- Swim regularly. Exercising once a week is not enough to lose weight (or even maintain weight). If swimming is your only physical activity, aim to swim at least five times a week and for one hour at a time.
If you enjoy being in a pool, try swimming, but remember to be consistent with it to see the best results.
Exercise vs. Incidental Activity
When you are active, your body uses more calories, and this helps you maintain a healthy weight. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. This is why regular activity is a fundamental component of any successful weight loss program.
There are two primary forms of physical activity, and both can help you control your weight. They are:
- Incidental activity
- Planned exercise
What is Low-Impact Activity?
Low-impact activities are exercises that require minimal force between the body and another object, such as the ground. This form of activity is generally regarded as a good starting place for those interested in becoming more physically active.
During a low-impact activity, the amount of stress placed on the joints, bones and muscles is much less than experienced with other forms of exercise. This helps to protect joints like the knees, hips and ankles from injury.
Benefits of Exercise
Adding an exercise routine to your medical weight loss program can encourage long-term weight management. Exercise encourages weight loss by burning calories, toning muscle and improving metabolic health.
Getting Started with Exercise
During your medical weight loss program, Dr. Primack, Dr. Ziltzer and Dr. Rodarte will provide you with the education and support to begin an exercise routine. Exercising is a key factor to optimizing and maintaining weight loss during your program, so it is important to get started and stick with it. Regular physical activity can not only help with your weight but also reduce your risk of chronic disease, improve your balance, coordination, sleep habits and even your self-esteem. However, if you’re accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle, it may be difficult to determine just how to get started with physical activity.
Benefits of Exercising Outdoors
In the early morning before the heat of the Arizona sun takes hold, there is no better time to take the fitness aspect of your weight loss program outdoors. The gym is great when it’s too chilly outside to work out but when the sun is shining and the air is fresh exercising outdoors can revitalize your body and mind:
Walking for Health in Scottsdale
Scottsdale area residents who are participating in a medical weight loss program already have a great head start on dropping pounds quickly. To really jump-start their weight loss, many people choose to add walking to their exercise routines or even to use walking as their primary mode of exercise.