Floating Up and Down the Pool WON'T Get Real Results: Here's What Will
Byline: BY KARL HENRY
WHAT a great response to last week's ultimate A to Z weight loss column! I am delighted that so many of you are so committed to getting fit and losing that excess weight. Thankfully, as we discovered last week, there is more than one way to fight fat. And if you don't fancy running or cycling, what about swimming? I want to dispel a big fitness myth -- one that I come across all the time. Many people believe that although it's good for relaxation or as a spot of light exercise when on holiday, swimming otherwise just isn't an effective workout.
Swimming won't get you real results, will it? After all, many people struggle to lose weight even though they are diligently swimming three or four days a week. Right? Wrong! Unfortunately, some swimmers find they are not losing weight because, quite simply, the workout they are doing in the pool isn't intense enough.
Gently swimming a few lengths for 20 minutes won't burn many calories. This level of exercise also won't stress your muscles sufficiently, so you probably won't see much of a difference.
While a relaxing swim will loosen up your joints and is certainly better than eating a take away in front of the television, if it's results you're looking for, then this sort of exercise won't do much. So then, how do you get the most out of your pool experience? FIRSTLY, there is etiquette to consider. The swimming pool will probably have lanes dividing it -- these usually vary with the level and speed of swimmer.
The slowest lane is often on the outside. Moderately quick lanes will run alongside these slow lanes, while those lanes in the centre are for speedy and strong swimmers.
If you are a beginner, then you should stay in the outside lane. Equally, if you are a very good swimmer, then move into the centre lane. Where frustration (and even rows) can develop is where a beginner enters the advanced lane -- or indeed the other way round.
Swimming in the wrong lane only irritates your fellow swimmers, so you need to be careful to choose the right section for you.
If someone in your lane is faster than you, let them pass before you begin your next lap.
So, how do you get the most out of that session? There are three main types of stroke that most people will use: the front crawl, the back crawl and the breast stroke. There is also the butterfly stroke, but most people won't use this as it can be difficult to master.
Which is better for a workout? All of them will potentially deliver a great session -- once you are working hard enough. …