Image: Haley Phelps on Unsplash

When trying to lose weight, you will need to pick an activity, like swimming, running, walking, or cycling. If you decide to go for swimming, you have made the right choice. This sport is especially ideal if you are looking for a low-impact exercise. It’s also a great cardiovascular workout that strengthens your body. Before you begin your weight loss journey, set a realistic goal by sticking to a swimming program to make it easier to see results. 

Next, you will need to follow a healthy diet, primarily since cold water and energy used will make you hungry after a workout. If you just adopt terrible eating habits due to hunger, you will end up putting on more weight and wasting your efforts. So, switch to a diet with lean proteins, whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Always stay hydrated throughout your workout and get plenty of sleep to keep you energised and ready for your next training. 

Here are some critical steps in losing weight through swimming:

1. Learn How To Swim

Before starting your swimming exercise or even getting into a pool, it will be best to learn how to swim. You can look for lessons online at, at a college, a gym, or a community pool near you. During the swimming lesson, you will discover the proper breathing exercise, which will be vital in helping you breathe at a regular pace. You can start by breathing in through your mouth when you rise above the water with every stroke. 

For the beginner level, it’s best to begin with breaststroke and freestyle stroke. Breaststroke is easy to learn because you just have to move your arms in a half-circular motion and kick your legs apart before sweeping them together to create a line. With freestyle stroke, you can cover more distance without using too much energy. This stroke involves facing toward the water and using both your arms and legs to propel yourself through the water.

As a beginner, try swimming as many laps as possible in a specific time and then use that as a baseline to set manageable goals. You can swim at a fast pace for two minutes and slow down to a moderate pace for three minutes. After that, you can gradually increase your swimming intensity for four minutes and then moderately for four minutes; repeat it over a specified amount of time.

Then work your way up to the more intricate strokes: backstroke and butterfly. And with butterfly being the hardest stroke, you can attempt it last. This kind of stroke will help you burn as much as 150 calories in 10 minutes.

Another stroke technique you can try is sidestroke. As its name suggests, you swim on one side of the water. This stroke is usually used by lifeguards during rescues, so if you do encounter an emergency situation, your knowledge of it will come in handy. 

Once you have learned the basics of swimming, incorporate it once per week to reap benefits. Avoid limiting your time when swimming and aim for at least 30 minutes. Since you are still a beginner, swim for 15 minutes, then take a break and do it all over again. As you progress and become more efficient, swim harder and faster to keep your heart rate up and burn more calories.

After mastering the sport, you can begin doing 30 minutes or more 3 times per week. Set a schedule that you can follow, such as swimming on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, to be more diligent and disciplined. 

To ensure that you achieve your fitness goals and maintain excellent health, try swimming for an hour, three times per week. Do this gradually as you gain strength and endurance until you’re able to reach the point of adding extra minutes per workout every week.

However, if you aren’t a strong swimmer, use a pool noodle or a kickboard to keep you afloat as you move through the water. For toning purposes, take advantage of water dumbbells when doing a few bicep curls. Dumbbells will create resistance that builds strength and endurance.

2. Include Different Workouts

Now that you have built strength and developed endurance whilst trying to lose weight swimming, you may add different kinds of water-based exercises that are most comfortable, such as doing arm lifts and leg kicks and walking in the water. 

Moreover, you can swim 20 laps with a kickboard, or you can alternatively try 45 minutes without it. You can also opt for aerobics by signing up for a class and getting accustomed to it. 

To burn more calories, engage in interval training that includes a higher intensity level of exercise in a specific period. When you do more than five intervals per session and introduce interval training once or twice per week, you may amplify your results. Some internal training exercises you can consider are running on stairs, jumping rope, and spinning. 

3. Keep Track Of Your Results

After attending a few sessions, it’s only natural to wonder how long it will be until you see any noticeable results. But with consistent swimming workouts, you may start noticing results as soon as six to eight weeks. 

However, your results are dependent on what your end goals are. You can lose additional calories with every session since swimming forces the body to use oxygen for prolonged periods. 

For instance, an hour of a long swimming session can help you burn between four to seven hundred calories. When you increase your physical activity, you will improve your metabolism and break down fat stores, which lead to weight loss.

You can begin tracking your calories by using a waterproof fitness tracker that gives you a breakdown of the stats of your workouts, such as the distance covered and calories burned. You can also download an app that’s free to keep you motivated.

This app will keep track of your swim workouts, develop new exercises to suit your lifestyle, and track your progress. For more motivation, join a swim club or team that will encourage you to meet your goals. You may participate in regular challenges and group swims as well so that you can hit your aim faster.

Bottom Line

If you’re planning to lose weight swimming, you can get started by taking lessons and then hitting the pool at a college, a gym, or in a community area. Eventually, swimming may be your hobby since it’s fun and physically rewarding.