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Swimming Your Way To A Slimmer, Happier You

It is estimated that around one in every four adults and one in every five children aged 10 to 11 in the UK are obese.

It is important to find fun, engaging ways to tackle this problem, because taking an exclusively dietary approach can be less efficient when it comes to shedding weight. Swimming is a brilliant way for all members of the family to stay active and fit, and benefit from the calming effects that being in the water can provide. If you have a few pounds to lose and have never swum before or wish to hone your skills, why not sign up for swimming lessons and plunge into a life of better health and wellbeing?

Aerobic exercise is key to weight loss

A study published in theJournal of Applied Psychology found that when it comes to losing weight, the optimal way to do so is through aerobic exercise, including swimming. Resistance training, which includes weight lifting to build and maintain muscle mass is also key because it increases the metabolic rate, but it is important to make swimming or other aerobic exercises the main focus. In the study, researchers tested the effect of different forms of exercise on weight loss, dividing participants into three groups, finding that aerobic exercise was the optimal choice for reducing fat mass and body mass.

Swimming and chronic pain

Sticking to a workout plan can be difficult when one is battling chronic pain (pain lasting longer than three months). Research published in the BMJ indicates that chronic pain affects between one third and one-half of people in the UK. Some of the leading causes of pain include osteoarthritis and back pain, both of which are exacerbated by obesity. The relationship between osteoarthritis and being overweight are well documented. For every extra kilo someone ways, the stress on the knees is increased fourfold. Because swim allows one to defy gravity while working out, it is easier on the joints and back and can, therefore, be an important way for people to break free of the obesity-pain cycle.

Swimming and determination

Swimming can also help you feel more positive about your challenges; weight loss is only one of many that many people have to face daily. Studies have shown that aerobic exercise such as swimming or walking enhances brain functions, thus raising the sense of self- efficiency and reinforcing our determination to pursue exercise goals. Other studies have shown that exercise significantly reduces stress, thus making it easier to avoid triggers for over-eating.

In order to lose weight, both diet and exercise play an important role. For those who don’t like the intensity of tougher workouts such as CrossFit or high-intensity interval training, swimming can be a gentle way to pursue an aerobic workout. Back up your daily dips with a Mediterranean diet, consuming lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains, to give you the energy you need to beat your record of laps at the pool.