Swimming - is it good exercise?

(12 Posts)
flugelhorn81 Thu 11-Apr-19 18:38:05

Hello. I was hoping to get back into running but I've recently injured my ankle so won't be able to start up for a while. In the meantime, I was hoping to try and get a bit fitter and perhaps lose some weight from swimming.

I'm going from a few years of virtually no proper exercise to swimming for around 30-40 mins (about 30 lengths of 25m in 30 mins).

Am I going to notice any impact on my fitness or weight? I feel so frustrated I can't run and desperately want to lose some weight but can't put any impact on my ankle/foot.

Any advice welcome :-)


OP’s posts: |
RocketSurgery Thu 11-Apr-19 18:39:40

I find swimming brilliant for my overall fitness levels but I’ve never lost weight swimming. That’s probably mostly due to swimming making me absolutely ravenous for some reason so I always eat after a swim.

abortionreality Thu 11-Apr-19 18:48:23

Ha yes good point @RocketSurgery! I've noticed that too. I'm not out of breath but so hungry for some reason!

Arachnidplant Thu 11-Apr-19 18:51:36

Swimming is excellent exercise.

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Thu 11-Apr-19 18:53:55

I was going to say the same thing about it giving me the munchies! grin

It is great for overall strength & fitness especially if you are injured and need to avoid high impact exercise. I'm not convinced it burns off a huge number of calories though unless you are ploughing up and down pretty fast. I don't find it raises my heart rate that much and it's hard to swim with enough effort to feel you are having a good work out while still keeping your breathing rhythm correct.

AppleCiderVinegar Thu 11-Apr-19 18:55:27

Swimming can be brilliant exercise but you'll need to build it up to an hour session ideally and go 2 or 3 times a week. And do a proper fitness set, with a club if you can, so you do mainly front crawl, alternating speed and distance work to build fitness. (If you were previously a runner you won't get a lot of cardio out of slow breaststroke.) Is there a local masters group you can join?

AnotherEmma Thu 11-Apr-19 18:55:47

I think it's good for cardio fitness and gentle toning (assuming you're swimming reasonably fast and getting your head wet, not just breaststroke cruising grin)

But I've always heard that weight loss isn't really down to exercise, you have to diet for that. Unless you're a professional athlete or sportsperson you're not going to burn enough calories through exercise, whatever kind it is.


billybagpuss Thu 11-Apr-19 18:59:11

Swimming can help with weight loss but as people have said I'm always really hungry afterwards, I don't know how much of that is whenever we went swimming back in the '70s early '80s when I was young we always went for chips afterwards.

I swim loads now and this habit has taken a long time to break

RocketSurgery Thu 11-Apr-19 19:01:44

billybag I was always allowed something from the vending machine after swimming lessons. It was the highlight of my week. I think it’s made a lasting impact on me too - as soon as I’m heading to the showers I start thinking about mars bars and crisps.

CMOTDibbler Thu 11-Apr-19 19:06:14

Yes, I do about 2km in an hour, and swim up to 5km in a session if I can - only a couple of weeks and I'll be back in the open water. Watch youtube videos on swimming technique, and you'll soon see the difference. For me swimming gives me great arms, shoulders and hips

flugelhorn81 Thu 11-Apr-19 19:15:43

Thanks all! So it looks like I need to try and build my time up and do some more front crawl. I've been doing mainly breaststroke and I can really feel it on my arms, shoulders and back. But that's most likely due to bad technique or the fact I've done very little physical exercise of late...!

OP’s posts: |
LuxLucetInTenebris Thu 11-Apr-19 19:22:17

Look up a local masters club. Mine says you need to be over 18 and be able to swim one length. We have a big range of ages and abilities and train twice a week, with a coach to help technique etc.
I have to say elite male swimmers have the most fabulous physiques but it doesn't give women the best! We tend to develop broad muscular shoulders and retain a higher body fat percentage than other athletes.
It's great exercise though- all muscle groups, cardio, very few injuries, and I burn in excess of 500 cals per hour session. I then go home and eat double that........ but I am very fit and strong!

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