Weight Loss
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swimming? Bad for weight loss??

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Ok, so I've started swimming every morning to add exercise to my diet to lose some weight.  But I read some stuff on the internet and in the NYTimes that talked about swimming not being a good exercise for weight loss.  What do you all think about it?
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I completely disagree.  Swimming is one of the best overall exercises for your body.  It is low impact and works upper body, lower body, stomach, back etc.  It can give you long and lean muscles, build up your endurance, lung capacity etc.  You can burn approx 1000 calories swimming freestyle at a slow pace in one hour.  You would have to walk approx 4.5-5 mph to get the same number of calories burnt.  Just watch, you keep swimming you will notice a big difference in the tone of your arms, shoulders and back.  It makes wearing those tank tops pleasurable.  Keep doin those laps!
I completely agree with kellygreen!

If you've ever watched a swimming competition, you might have noticed how in shape the swimmers are. Granted, they train for  hours a day most days of the week, but even amateur swimmers have great bodies!
Swimming is fantastic exercise.  Really builds stamina.
kellygreen is right on the money. It's a great exercise, keep it up!
swimming is in fact very healthy, but i think i know what the article was talking about. Swimming (epecially in cooler water) makes many people REALLY hungry, myself included. Therefore, it is easy to eat back too many calories. If you have the time and facilities, going in a sauna after swimming tends to dull the appetite, which is perfect. But still, if thats the excersize you want to do, go for it. Just be careful :P
I love swimming and I the summe I ususally swim everday. (we have a pool). My DR told me its the best form of exercise if you are overweight sicne it does not put any strain on your knees.
Ok, so I'm not taking a side here, but I'm a Lifeguard and I'll share my observations.  Our facility offers many water aerobics classes.  The same women come to these classes 5 days a week, all of them are over weight ranging from 45-100+ lbs.  They have been doing this for years and I see no difference, however I don't know their eating habbits.  On the other hand there are also many people who swim laps on a regular basis.  They seem to build endurance, but in my opinion they don't look like they've tipped the scale to the left, if you catch my drift.  I used to swim laps on a regular basis, I didn't lose weight, but I didn't gain it either.  So, I think that if you like to swim go for it, it won't hurt you, swimming does burn the calories, but if you want to lose serious lbs, you might want to think about something more intense.
I am a swimmer, and I think I know what you mean, when you say it makes you so insanely hungry!!!  I'm not so sure about that 1000 calories per hour quote... but perhaps as you become more efficient in the water (a better swimmer) you don't burn as many calories because you don't have to work as hard?  Not sure... Anyway, I had also read somewhere that swimmers have a higher percent body fat than athletes in other sports.  Anyone have any idea about that one?  I mean, if you look at a swim meet versus a track meet, I think you'll know what I mean.
When I was swimming intensely, I lost inches but not necessarily weight.  (I wasn't trying to lose weight then.)

If you wear a swim cap you will feel somewhat warmer, and if you take a hot shower/sauna followed by a cup of hot tea/coffe/broth, the hunger pangs shouldn't be a problem.

What I've heard about swimmers' bodies is that the more body fat you have, the fewer calories you burn because fat naturally floats.  My brother is a muscular string bean and he has to work harder to stay afloat because of his lack of body fat.
I recall something (years ago) about swimmers who practice in cold water develop subcutaneous fat - i.e, just under the skin - to keep their body warm.

Also certain strokes can build the shoulder and deltoid muscles, making people look bigger. My daughter, who gains muscle fast (typical mesomorph), has this effect from years of swimming. On the plus side, it makes her look like she has a tiny-tiny waist in comparison. But it can be hard for her to find shirts that fit her broad shoulders. My other daughter, who's a pear with small frame, has also been a swimmer for years and doesn't have this effect.
I have always been a swimmer adn it is an AWESOME workout! It can make yiou hungry but eating carbs like baked potatoes fills you up quick. You kinda have to adjust your eating to it. I have actually not been hungry at all lately after my swims even though I'm done at like 8pm and still hadn't eaten dinner. Swimming is relaxing, gentle on the joints, adn you don't get sweaty! You do smell like chlorine though haha.

jen I always swam butterfly adn boy did I have strong shoulders. It did cause some damage to my shoulders though so I try to lay off that stroke now. My shoulders are still broader than most girls I think but I like it :)
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Swimming is possibly the best workout you can get for your body...but as far as weight loss goes, you HAVE to watch what you eat. If you maintain a diet that isn't geared for weight loss, you will only see minimal weight loss from the swimming itself.

I swam for 4 years varsity in high school - very intense training. I never really changed my diet (and actually probably increased my calorie intake if anything) and as a result, hardly lost any weight. Not to be discouraging, but if you're going to continue swimming, make sure you compliment it with a diet in order to lose weight.
Swimming is my favorite exercise!  It works all of my problem areas.  Try varying your stroke -- that way you tone different muscles and it makes it more interesting. 

You will need to watch your calories.  If you swim and don't change your eating style, you won't loose inches or weight. 

I can tell you that you will build more muscle, which will cut down on the actual pounds lost, but you will loose the inches and get in better shape. 

I started seriously swimming 3-4 times a week in January.  I have since dropped 4 swim suit sizes, and the one I currently have is getting a little loose.

Good luck and enjoy!
low impact
OMG, I must be doing something wrong.
I find swiming very hard on me, so it must be good for me.. LOL!!
Now on my back, it very relaxing :)
that is some B-S, swimming is definitely a workout, ur using every part of your body. In the summer time id wake up and go outside and swim every morning and i toned up quite well from it.
Due to back problems, swimming and walking are the only exercises I'm allowed to do.  I've lost 14 pounds in the 2 months that I've been walking in the water and swimming.
swimming is a GREAT form of exercise, ESPECIALLY if you don't do it that often. If you are swimming 3 times a week for an hour, not only will you drop inches, you will also tone and lengthen your muscles. I have been swimming competitively since I was 7, so feel free to ask me any questions. It is true that swimmers develope an extra thin layer of fat on their bodies to keep them warmer while swimming. However, this is only if you swim regularly(my guess is more than 4 times a week for an extended period of time) in a COLD pool. I have never heard of burning 1000cals/hour while doing moderate swimming. For your type of exercise, I would say your calories burned in an hour of swimming are comparable to those burned in an hour on the elliptical. The only difference with swimming is, you are toning everything. Hope that helps!
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They were doing an interesting interview with Michael Phelps a while back.  Dude eats 8,000 Calories per day.  (Granted he burns off 3,000 just swimming, but dang!)
My fiance almost went to the olympics for swimming and let me tell you there isn't an ounce of fat on the boy.  Except for his tummy because he stopped swimming and started drinking beer.  But there is no fat on his arms, legs, back, no where.  He said he used to eat three school lunches, drink at least a gallon of milk a day, and he would get up and eat something at 3 am because he would be so hungry.  He said he was around 2% body fat at the most.  So do I think swimming is good for weight loss, hell yeah.  Especially if you have back problems.

Edit:  He has really long lean muscles that everyone is talking about.  He doesn't have huge bulky muscles, but he can pick me up with no problem and I weigh 220.
I swam NCAA in college and I think what the article may be trying to say is that swimming is such a great total body workout that you are losing fat but gaining a lot of muscle. So you may not see the pounds drop right at the beginning, but if you stick with it they will come off. And you'll have a killer physique.   As for the hunger, that's actually dehydration. Contrary to what some people think you DO sweat while swimming. But because you're wet, your body doesn't realize it's thirst but rather thinks you're hungry. Try having a water bottle on the side of the pool and drinking between sets and when you're finished. That will help with that starved feeling at the end of the swim.
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