Swimming for fitness / weight loss

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Swimming for fitness / weight loss

Postby bianchi928 » Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:49 am

Hi,

Given the nature of the question is about swimming, I was hopeful this would be the place to start.

I have recently lost 16kg. This is a result of diet, weights and aerobic exercise such as spin class at the gym (2 times a week) and recently had a minor operation on my leg (calf). The doctor advised I cannot run, ride my bike or attend spin class for 2 weeks so I do not tear the scar after the stitches were removed (this how she described it).

I am keen to keep the weight loss momentum and do not want to lose any fitness. My thoughts are swimming may help in this.

I would appreciate anyones experience relating to swimming regarding maitaining and if swimming is useful in assisting with my weight loss (or at worst, maintain my current weight).

Thank you and kind regards.
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by BNA » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:02 am

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Re: Swimming for fitness / weight loss

Postby liamb » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:02 am

Hi

If it gets your heart rate up its got to help maintain weight loss. I swim 1 hour each week at a minimum and if I work hard it feels like a 2 hour plus ride. remember you are pushing your body mass through water and you cant coast or slow to a walk half way down a lap, when you are swimming the only rest you get is at the end of each lap or set. Also it is an all over body workout, not just legs. I was told to swim by a trainer and 3 physios as if all you do is run and or ride you are out of balance with the muscles you develop. If you are new to swimming or are not too confident try to find a 25m pool when you start so if you find you are struggling each lap it is easier to take a 10sec breather at each turn than trash yourself trying to bash out 50m and wear yourself out prematurely.

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Re: Swimming for fitness / weight loss

Postby gclark8 » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:23 am

Try asking at UNISWIM, UWA.

Many years back I had a knee injury, initially they continued my training with a pull (pool) bouy.
Later I did some leg work with a mini-fin on the good leg with the other trailing.
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Re: Swimming for fitness / weight loss

Postby Ken Ho » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:07 pm

I agree. Swim with a pull buoy and you will not hurt your calf and you will either maintain your weit or continue to lose weight.
I'm learning to swim for fitness and I find the pull (so called, because you only use arms, and pull yourself with no push from legs) buoy a great tool. It reduces my oxygen consumption to manageable levels, and I enjoy swimming further and better with it.
Swimming is always hard work, and tones your core as well as upper body.
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Re: Swimming for fitness / weight loss

Postby yarravalleyplodder » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:42 pm

Congrats on the weight loss, a great effort and I know what you mean about momentum.

I have lost 25kg this year, mainly with running but as I started running longer distances I found that I couldnt run more than 2 days in a row or my knees would start to give me issues.

In the end I have settled for cross training, 3 days running, 2 days swimming and 1 or 2 days cycling.

With the swimming its a massive workout as you use a lot more muscles than running or cycling and you definately get the heart rate up. If you can do all 4 strokes (freestyle, butterfly, breast stroke & back stroke) you will work nearly every muscle in your body, all with resistance and no impact so swimming is an excellent form of exercise.

If you havent done it before or in a while I suggest taking it easy at fist, try and get a rythm going and if you can do 45 min 3 times per week you will maintain your weight loss.

As others have suggested you can use a float to support your calf or you just minimise your kicks.

Best of luck and remember a couple of weeks off wont throw you off your goal
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Re: Swimming for fitness / weight loss

Postby bianchi928 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:38 pm

Hi all,

Thank you for your responses. I bought some boardies and goggles and took to the pool this week.

I was suprised by how tired I was after the swims. I was starving after each swim as well however had read that may happen so I planned my food accordingly.

I actually lost a little weight this week which exceeded expectations as the goal was to break even. I think I may incorporate swimming into my weekly exercise to add variety.

Yarravalleyplodder, 25kg's, outstanding effort. You must be feeling awesome as a result.

Cheers
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Re: Swimming for fitness / weight loss

Postby ozjolly » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:10 pm

Personally, I find that swimming is great for fitness but not much good for weight loss. It makes me very hungry for some reason. A lot of professional swimmers need to cross-train to keep weight off.

Also beware of shoulder issues. If you have a reasonable level of aerobic fitness and you run/cycle, your arms/shoulders will be your weak point and swimming is not a natural action for your shoulders, so take it easy. Using a pull buoy will just accentuate this weakness.

But there's no cars and no impact so it's good fun :)
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Re: Swimming for fitness / weight loss

Postby winstonw » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:06 pm

You didn't mention where the scars were. I might presume you had an achilles tendon repair.
In that case, you may be ok doing freestyle kicking gently from the hips with flippers, as your calf muscle will be in a shortened state. But run it past any therapist you are under.

If you had a calf compartment release, then better not to do anything ballistic with your calf. What's the advice re walking and going up stairs?

For the same energy expenditure, studies show swimming doesn't rip the weight off to the same degree as walking, running, cycling. It is still a bit of mystery why. Theories are that
- the cooler temp of water encourages the body to retain body fat maybe by stimulating appetite more so.
- you don't have to do additional work against gravity.

If you are getting hungry after a swim, remember to drink a lot of water in the 2 hours before swimming, and a lot after.
When you get in the water, the pressure of the water against your skin pushes interstitial fluid into the circulation as plasma. The body interprets this as excessive blood volume and increases urinary production; hence why swimming induces the urge to pee more. After you get out, some of those hunger pangs are due to a lack of blood volume as plasma moves back into interstitial spaces.
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Re: Swimming for fitness / weight loss

Postby TrekStar » Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:25 pm

winstonw wrote:
If you are getting hungry after a swim, remember to drink a lot of water in the 2 hours before swimming, and a lot after.
When you get in the water, the pressure of the water against your skin pushes interstitial fluid into the circulation as plasma. The body interprets this as excessive blood volume and increases urinary production; hence why swimming induces the urge to pee more. After you get out, some of those hunger pangs are due to a lack of blood volume as plasma moves back into interstitial spaces.


FINALLY! An answer to a question I have asked for at least 20 years! I drink in between drills to keep the fluid level up, probably helps a bit.
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Re: Swimming for fitness / weight loss

Postby mark field » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:03 pm

i started swimming a couple of years ago, didn't loose much weight, but my clothes fell of, i wouldn't worry about what the scales say, if your increasing your heart rate for an extended period of time- say at least 30 mins 4-5 times a week and you incorporate some toys with your swim to mix it up ( fins, paddles, pull buoys etc) then you are on a definite winner, so long as you don't "reward" yourself after with a big ice cream or KFC, all these efforts must be in conjunction with good eating habits. i'm not one for the "have a cheat day" where you reward your self with any junk food you can cram into one day, as it will take the week to burn it off just to break even!! one thing i also do to keep it interesting is i have several pools i go to, even if i'm doing the same routine, a change of venue can help, staring at the bottom of the same pool day in and day out can be like watching paint dry. For me anyway.
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Re: Swimming for fitness / weight loss

Postby Evo6point5 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:41 pm

winstonw wrote:You didn't mention where the scars were. I might presume you had an achilles tendon repair.
In that case, you may be ok doing freestyle kicking gently from the hips with flippers, as your calf muscle will be in a shortened state. But run it past any therapist you are under.

If you had a calf compartment release, then better not to do anything ballistic with your calf. What's the advice re walking and going up stairs?

For the same energy expenditure, studies show swimming doesn't rip the weight off to the same degree as walking, running, cycling. It is still a bit of mystery why. Theories are that
- the cooler temp of water encourages the body to retain body fat maybe by stimulating appetite more so.
- you don't have to do additional work against gravity.

If you are getting hungry after a swim, remember to drink a lot of water in the 2 hours before swimming, and a lot after.
When you get in the water, the pressure of the water against your skin pushes interstitial fluid into the circulation as plasma. The body interprets this as excessive blood volume and increases urinary production; hence why swimming induces the urge to pee more. After you get out, some of those hunger pangs are due to a lack of blood volume as plasma moves back into interstitial spaces.


Brilliant!! Had no idea thats why it makes me starving hungry even after moderate 2k swims
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