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If you are looking for a full-body cardio workout that is easy on your joints, swimming is the way to go. And it can also be a total calorie burner. Just think of a few things to make the most of it.
First, like any exercise, the number of calories you burn while swimming depends on the intensity with which you do it.
How Much Do You Have to Swim to Lose Weight?
Swimming at a slightly more leisurely pace – about 50 meters per minute – burns about 625 calories an hour. Make yourself comfortable with a high-level recreational athlete, where you can swim 75 meters in a minute and burn just over 750 calories an hour. To lose a pound, you want to burn about 3,500 calories. So if you swim for an hour three times a week, you'll burn a pound in two weeks. And that doesn't even count to changing your diet.
Any kind of activity is better than just sitting around. If you've been sedentary before, after 20 to 30 minutes of swimming, you can burn calories that you didn't have before. See how this guy lost 115 pounds while swimming.
Does that mean swimming burns belly fat?
Kind of. Swimming doesn't prefer to burn belly fat, but if it's something you consistently do because you enjoy it, it will help you lose weight anywhere, even if you are your belly.
How to Burn Calories by Swimming
To burn more calories, either step in more often, swim longer in each session, or swim with higher intensity. Everyone has advantages:
Swimming more often
As with any exercise, the key to losing weight is to be consistent. Swimming coaches who talk to athletes who want to get stronger and faster encourage them to "swim less and more often". You can get more out of swimming if your technique is good. So if you go into the water more often, you have to go through a long session in which you end up fighting only the technique of breaking apart.
If you don't have a pool in your yard, swimming requires a bit of planning – you have to go to the pool when it's open and make sure you have your hat, goggles, towel, and anything else you need for that Need shower after. (Check out the best goggles here.) Make it easy for yourself and have your beach bag ready at all times so you can spend less time looking for things and more time training.
If your technique stays in place for an entire workout, check to see if you can swim a week longer than the others. This way, in addition to burning more calories, you can also improve your endurance so that you can swim longer in future sessions and gradually increase your time in the pool.
Swim with higher intensity
To burn more calories in less time, use an interval training approach. Instead of swimming at 65 or 70 percent of your maximum heart rate all the time, split your workout into sets. There are a million different ways you can approach this. One option would be to swim 4 laps at 70 percent, 4 at 80 and 4 at 90 and rest between each set of four. Then descend the ladder (4 at 90, 4 at 80, 4 at 70). Everywhere on the Internet you will find good suggestions for swimming training. With this tool from Swimming World Magazine, however, you can adapt it to your fitness level and swimming duration.