When your swimming for an extended period of time you are getting a good cardio workout. You’re increasing your heart rate for extended periods, and that’s helping you get the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Swimming for 30 minutes is a great way to get in shape, maintain a healthy heart, and enjoy your time in the water. Whether you are in the ocean, lake, or swimming laps in a pool, getting your heart beating faster by swimming will benefit you in many ways.
When I go to the gym, I sometimes go for a swim in their pool and do laps. It’s a good workout and can also feel relaxing. Outside sounds are quieted and you can swim in an almost meditative mindset as you repeat laps over and over.
Swimming 30 Minutes Burns ~223 Calories
According to health.harvard.edu, swimming for 30 minutes for a person weighing 155 pounds will burn about 223 calories. If we take the average weight of Americans, that would be about 245 calories for a 170 lb woman, 285 calories for a 198 lb man.
Swimming takes quite a bit of muscle movement consistently. It engages a wide range of muscles, so it will burn more calories than just walking. It doesn’t burn as many calories as running, but burns about the same amount as a walk/run.
If you are looking for a low-impact exercise that can help you burn a good number of calories, then swimming can help you reach your health goals. Over time you will see how your muscles will tone, and there may be less fat if you are watching your diet and exercising consistently.
You can also ramp up the number of calories burned by switching up your swimming routine. Just try some different types of swimming strokes that take more effort during part of your 30-minute swim session.
Some swimming strokes to try are butterfly stroke, breaststroke, backstroke, front crawl, and sidestroke. These are likely to help you burn more calories, as you incorporate them into your swimming routine.
Swimming 30 Minutes Helps Your Heart
With the average American being overweight, a burden is placed on the heart to function properly. “Obesity changes in the structure and function of the heart. It increases your risk of heart disease.” (summitmedicalgroup.com)
The heart has to work harder by pumping more blood to all parts of the body when someone is overweight. Their levels of cholesterol are usually higher, their blood pressure is usually higher, and these issues create strain on the heart.
Heart disease and heart attack can be the result of long-term obesity. Even if I am not too overweight, if I am regularly eating unhealthy and not exercising much, my heart is at risk because of clogged arteries and higher blood pressure.
Thankfully, exercise is very good at mitigating some of the effects of our diet. It can lower blood pressure and help reduce your cholesterol levels.
Swimming for 30 minutes is among one of the best exercises that can help with heart health. It is helpful because it places a consistent load on the heart, to help it get stronger. A strong heart can help pump blood more effectively.
As your heart gets stronger, it can pump out the bad cholesterol that may be clogging your arteries. Kaiserpermanente.org says, “Exercise also increases your levels of HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol that lowers heart disease risk by flushing the artery-clogging LDL or “bad” cholesterol out of your system.”
Of course, swimming each week will help your heart get stronger, but diet plays an important role as well.
Swimming 30 Minutes is Low Impact
If you go walking often, you know it can be a great way to get some exercise in and still have a low impact on your joints. Just like walking, swimming doesn’t put pressure on the joints and allows you to get in a moderate exercise period.
Making time to swim regularly will help you get in all the exercise you need each week if you swim for 30 minutes 5 times a week.
After 150 minutes of exercise during the week, your muscle may be sore. You may be a bit more tired at night, which is usually a good idea for getting some sound sleep. The surprising thing that you may find is that your joints don’t ache and you feel ready to swim some more the next week.
Strenuous exercise of any type will put stress on the body, but during your average swim, you will be less likely to have any injuries or joint issues. That’s why seniors are encouraged to take water aerobics. They can get in a good exercise session, with low impact on their joints.
If you have an injury to one area of your body, swimming can give you an effective way to continue to exercise while you recover. This happened to me when I hurt my shoulder. I couldn’t lift weights one arm, but swimming was fine.
I remember after a week I thought I could try lifting weights again, but it continued to hurt and delayed my recovery. Swimming for 3 weeks after this point helped me get my body some exercise without putting the kind of stress on my shoulder that occurs during weight lifting.
“A study in the August 2016 Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation suggested that swimming is just as effective as walking to relieve pain and improve quality of life for people with fibromyalgia (a condition marked by widespread musculoskeletal pain) or knee osteoarthritis (long-term wear and tear of cartilage in the joints).” (health.harvard.edu)
Swimming 30 Minutes Tones Your Muscles
You can expect to get those abs you are looking for after several months of daily swimming for 30 minutes. When you swim you are engaging your abs as you kick your legs.
First, you will start to see some toning that will occur in your upper body and arms first. If you are mostly doing freestyle laps during your 30-minute swim, you are using your upper body to do a lot of the work.
If you have a large belly, don’t expect to see your abs anytime soon, even though your muscles are getting stronger under the belly fat. Expect to see some ab definition, anywhere from 3 months to a year depending on how much weight you need to lose.
If you swim 30 minutes 5 days each week for a year, your muscles have had a lot of training. While each person may see different results, you can expect to see a different body than you had before.
One thing to think about is how much you were eating before you started swimming regularly and how much you eat now. Swimming may make you feel very hungry, so watching your diet is just as important, so you can actually see some results from all your efforts.
This video explains why you might not see results from swimming, and what to do.
Swimming can effectively help you use a wide range of muscles each day. You’re getting a good workout, even though it’s not the same as weight lifting.
Swimming can help you build some muscles and strengthening them, but don’t forget to add weight lifting and other resistance exercises if you want more muscle.
Swimming 30 Minutes Increases Energy
If you want to energize yourself, what better way than going for a swim. I’ve been swimming and after a while, all I wanted to do is rest; so how is that helping my energy?
The key is to go swimming often. According to swimming.org, “Just 30 minutes of swimming three times per week can boost your energy levels through increased metabolic rate.”
We may not feel the energy for a couple of weeks, but when our body is getting a consistent cardio exercise when swimming, we are changing how our muscles create energy. Our genes adapt to the exercises we are doing and provide more energy for our cells.
I remember feeling more energized after swimming more consistently after a couple of weeks. And don’t forget to hydrate, since this helps with water loss during swimming, and helps with energy levels as well.
While most people may not be able to visit a pool and swim 5 days a week, we can make it a part of our exercise routine. Swimming, like other forms of exercise, can have many health benefits besides the ones we’ve discussed.
Any type of movement that gets your heart pumping more than normal is very helpful for the body. Swimming for 30 minutes is one way we can exercise in a low-impact way and still enjoy the good feeling of being in the water.
For those who want to shape their body over time, help their heart get healthy, and enjoy the benefits of a water workout, swimming might be for you. A 30-minute swim workout is just one way to achieve your health goals, now and in the future.
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