Health and Fitness

Benefits of swimming.

Benefit people with a wide variety of medical diagnoses, from hemophilia or multiple sclerosis to Parkinson’s, dementia and autism to patients after a stroke. The quality of the analyzes differs depending on the study: How many participants were there, were there control groups – and if so, did the test persons practice another sport or were they inactive lifeguard training.

So if you have medical problems and would like to relieve them with swimming or other water activities, it is best to talk to your doctor about it.

The basic rule for healthy people is: Exercise is good, it doesn’t really depend on the type. So if you have a swimming pool nearby, don’t like doing sports on land or just want to try it out, go for it.

Article Section: Can Swimming Lose Weight?

Can you lose weight by swimming?

In principle, yes, says Andreas Bidder from the German Sport University in Cologne. Because you use energy when you move. Whether you move in the water or on land doesn’t really matter that much. However, it’s easy to fall into the trap: “I’ve been moving, so I can eat a little more.” Then, of course, losing weight doesn’t work.

Some studies are also examining how well swimming helps you lose weight. In 2019, for example, Polish scientists analyzed how twelve weeks of swimming training affects the body of young women. The participants had to swim three times a week for one hour each. The sobering result: The training hardly changed anything.

Other studies come to similar conclusions, although the eating behavior of the participants was not regulated. It is possible that the test persons succumbed to the wishful thinking of being able to eat more after exercising.

Swimming burns calories, but jogging burns more

When it comes to losing weight, calories inevitably come into play. So how many calories do you burn swimming?

There is no simple answer to this, as it depends very much on the individual, on the weight and the intensity of the training. An example calculation: A person who weighs 73 kilograms burns just over 400 calories per hour with moderate swimming. Jogging (about five miles an hour) burns about 600 calories for this person, more than swimming.

Andreas Bidder advises caution with concrete values, because how one assesses the intensity is also very subjective. In addition, different training sessions differ in how long and intensively they are carried out. A jogger tends to have a smaller window of time, while cycling or walking can last all day. A trained swimmer can easily swim laps for several hours at a time – but for someone who makes swimming a leisure activity, that’s rather unrealistic.

If you want to lose weight, you should choose the sport that is easiest to implement and that is the most fun. Ultimately, what matters is that you do it regularly and over the long term without eating more at the same time.

Article Section: What Mistakes Can You Make While Swimming?

What mistakes can you make while swimming?

If you want to start training on your own, without prior swimming lessons, all sorts of mistakes can creep in. The first hurdle is breathing correctly, says Achim Wiese, spokesman for the German Life Saving Society. V. (DLRG). “When your breathing isn’t in sync with your motor skills, it creates an incredible amount of effort.” With most swimming techniques, you only have a short time to breathe in because your face is submerged and you’re also exhaling into the water.

This leads us to a second common mistake: posture. Especially when it comes to breaststroke – the type of swimming that is usually taught first in Germany – there are many people who frantically stick their heads out of the water. They can breathe in and out as they please. But as a result, the muscles in the neck cramp and the spine is constantly under strain.

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