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Any Swimmers Out There?

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Old 07-01-2010, 06:06 PM   #1
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Default Any Swimmers Out There?

Hi, I'm a newbie, but have so enjoyed reading a lot of threads about eating and exercise. One aspect of my workout routine that I have not seen mentioned a lot is swimming! After many years away, I have taken it up again and in a just a few months, I built up from stopping every other lap to the point where I can swim a half mile (36 laps) in less than 30 minutes without stopping! Of course, that's nothing compared to my husband who can do a whole mile in just a few minutes more...

Anyway, I am convinced it's a great exercise for cardio and toning, yet I've recently seen articles that downplay the benefits of swimming, which really surprised me! There's no question that it gets my heart rate up and I swear I've lost inches around my torso due to it. Yet apparently it is not a great way to burn calories, apparently because of the coolness of the water or the increased appetite you get after a workout... huh? I have a nice mix of other exercise during the week, including walking, Zumba and weights.

What have other people experienced who include swimming in their fitness mix? It may be a little boring, but after 30 minutes, I really feel like I done something and with 24 pounds lost in three months, I must be doing something right, I think!
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Old 07-01-2010, 06:21 PM   #2
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I love the pool! I love to swim and I think it's a terrific calorie burn, if you're good at it. I have great endurance for swimming...I can swim two miles in under two hours...but I am slow and therefore I don't feel like I get a great calorie burn for the amount of time I put in. I feel like I burn more calories in Spin class or running, but probably not much different than walking. So for me, swimming had to take a back seat and now I do it as an "extra" activity...something to include in my active day.

But that doesn't mean it isn't a great workout for others who know what they're doing! I've just never been formally trained on proper form.

Yes, it's true swimming may increase hunger, but if you can push through that, it's obviously doing something!
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Old 07-09-2010, 10:22 AM   #3
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Swimming has a bad reputation for weight loss, because people becomes really hungry after wards. The physical differences between professional swimmers and marathon runners are pretty obvious. However I think it is due to the temperature of the pool. If pool is really cold, then after a swim I tend to be more hungry. However indoor, temp regulated pools are great for exercising.
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Old 07-09-2010, 10:49 AM   #4
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I always have a snack after my workouts (usually a banana and/or strawberry milk) so the hunger isn't an issue for me. I am a strong swimmer--have been since I was a kid--and I love to do 20-30 minutes in the pool and then take a soak in the sauna. I usually use the pool on days that I have to fit a workout in because of my work schedule, but I'm too sore to jog or do the arc trainer or spin. I do not feel like swimming is as powerful of a workout as some of the other things I do, but it's a great gentle way to get my body moving and sometimes that's just what I need.
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:11 PM   #5
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Professional swimmers have excellent upper body muscle. I think swimming is also great exercise. I imagine people get hungry because they're getting a workout.

Keep it up - I'm about to jump on the bandwagon. It's alsol FUN, something you can do with your kids, and really maintain
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:46 PM   #6
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Shaken,
I think swimming is a perfect form of exercise, for all the reasons you mentioned and it's just darn refreshing!

I was able to spend about 2 months earlier this year, swimming each morning and sometimes in the afternoons. Certainly not the laps you mentioned, but enough to make me feel healthier. Sadly for me, I lost the pool access and I'd have to get to the gym to do it. I'm brand new today and haven't made it to the gym yet. But it will come, in time.

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Old 07-09-2010, 04:23 PM   #7
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I use to LOVE swimming. I'd swim laps all the time, without even thinking about it as a work out, but more just because I enjoyed it so much. However, with recent problems (I won't get into details about that), I haven't really been able to swim for years. I really, really miss it. Though, I think I'd be way too out of shape to be able to swim like I use to.

One day I'll get back into it, though. And I'm totally looking forward to it.
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:59 PM   #8
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I love swimming too! It is so much work, I can do only 1or 2 full laps in a row (there and back) doing free style because it i such a total work out. I have to rest for a good 20 sec before I go again! I not only swim laps (not as often as I'd like), but I also do deep water classes and water boot camp aerobics. I prefer deep water because we swim laps and to "drills" as well as combo exercises and intervals

I feel like swimming laps is a full work out by itself. I tend to do the water classes on a light day, or on an "off" day. The classes are great work outs, but my heart rate just doesn't get up there. Anyway, I try to swim for exercise once a week. Along with taking my kids for their leisure/play swims, I"m pool side/in the sun way too much!!

I don't notice more hunger after swimming, but I live in 115 degree heat, so the pool is always hot

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Old 07-09-2010, 05:14 PM   #9
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I swim laps for at least one hour once a week and look forward to it every single week. That makes it a great exercise right off the bat.

I feel I'm losing the fat from my other exercise (stationary bike, walking, and hiking), but getting my figure from the swimming. My fat arms are toning up nicely and until recently I did no weight work at all so I know it's from pulling this body through the water.

But I do have to plan for the after hunger. I still remember the mistake I made doing my grocery shopping after 85 minutes of laps. Ended up eating my calories back in the car on the way home (couldn't even wait to get home). Won't make that mistake again!
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:12 PM   #10
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To the OP, I feel like I could have written your post! I began the South Beach diet (to jumpstart a healthy lifestyle) back in early June and right away combined it with exercise. I used to lap swim as a lifeguard and swim instructor back 10 years ago or so, but haven't done it since. One day I got in the pool and started, could barely swim a lap or two without stopping, and now I can swim 30-40 mins without stopping at all! I have been paying close attention to the weight loss, because I am only a month and a half in and wanting to lose 80+ pounds to reach my first goal. I've lost around 17 so far, so I have been really watching how many calories I'm burning. I love swimming so much, but I don't know exactly how much I am burning so my DH bought me a swim watch that counts calories for my birthday and I am waiting for that to come in. I am really interested in seeing how it compares to doing other forms of cardio.

I don't find that I eat more afterwards... no different than an hour on the elliptical. And I enjoy swimming so much more.
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:59 PM   #11
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i swam competitively growing up and still love to swim. I do water aerobics classes now that I like because they don't hurt my joints. Swimming is great for when you are first starting to workout I think because its really easy on your body. At this point though I have to agree that an hour on the eliptical does a whole lot more calorie wise than the swimming. However, everyone keeps saying variety really helps so I am sticking with the classes!
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:43 PM   #12
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I also swam competively growing up, here is my take.

Swimming fast and longer distances is hard work. Not everyone learned how to do proper strokes and not everyone is capable of going fast or going long. Since most aren't, it probably isn't the most effective calorie burning excercise for most.

When I competed, we did around 3500 - 4000 yards in practice 5 times a week - this was just as a kid/teen. Actual people who compete in college or olympic level probably average 10,000 a day. There is NO WAY any of us could get anywhere near that level with work, school, family, etc. It's a full time job!

So I guess my point is, swimming is great exercise to increase aerobic ability, lung capacity, flexibility and strength. And if you have an hour or two a day, and you can go at a fairly good pace, I am sure you will get a great calorie burn. But if you don't have an hour or so or you go super slow without the best form, you might want to do something like running to burn the most calories.

I still wouldn't give up on swimming - it's low impact, you can do it until you are 100 years old and it is great for flexibity, lung capacity and muscle toning. It's just that there are other excercised that you could do for less time and burn more calories.
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Old 07-22-2010, 05:16 PM   #13
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I LOVE swimming. I just blogged about it. Swimming is the only way I can exercise at an aerobic intensity.

I can't lift weights on land very easily, but I can use water dumbbells and other resistance tools in the pool.

I'd live in the water if I could (finding a way to prevent drowning while sleeping would be a challenge, I'll admit).

My dream home would have an indoor pool (at least an infinity lap pool) in the middle of the main living area.
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:52 PM   #14
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i love swimming. I never competed but I am a great swimmer. I really do try to maintain my form though. I have a small pool, but I found doing laps continuously (without stopping) basically bouncing off one wall to the other really gets my heart rate up. I wear a heart rate monitor when i swim. My abdomen really tones up when I swim too. probably because I do alot with my torso, flipping over, trying to keep my body down at the bottom, and I also find myself trying to keep my balance more in the water when i play.--so it is like a giant bosu ball in a way. Also you have to use your core to keep your body in alignment. I love getting in and playing "dive for things" with my son as well.
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Old 07-28-2010, 05:56 PM   #15
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I love swimming! Last week I started to include it in my gym routine. M,W,F are swim days. I look forward to waking up at 4:30 am to go take a swim! My arms are starting to tone up, especially in the "wing" area.
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