Climbing obesity rates have made people more aware of the need to decrease their calorie intake while increasing the number of calories they burn. Obesity has been shown to raise the possibility of medical ailments such as diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, bone and joint issues, and most recently, susceptibility to Covid-19 complications. Many of these problems are the result of an increase in belly fat, otherwise known as visceral fat. As fat deposits grow around the belly, the neighboring organs have difficulty functioning properly. So, is there an exercise that reduces belly fat? One of the most popular low impact, full body, cardiovascular workouts is swimming. Can you lose belly fat by swimming? In this article you’ll find out how swimming may be considered an ideal exercise to get rid of visceral fat.
Cardiovascular Exercise and Weight Loss
Cardiovascular exercise, more popularly known as aerobic exercise, increases the exertion of the heart and lungs. While it’s thought to be impossible to target fat burning from specific parts of the body, cardiovascular workouts are some of the best at burning fat in general. The resulting increase in heart rate gets the blood flowing faster, increases the breathing rate and causes the body to sweat; all of which help to consume calories. Raising your heart rate into the calorie burning zone, generally thought to be around 60 to 70% of the maximum heart rate, helps create a calorie deficit and subsequent fat burning and weight loss. Spending time practicing your strokes in the swimming pool or swim spa will help you do this.
Dry Land Warm Up
Warming up before swimming not only reduces the chance of injury and lactic acid buildup, it primes your body for an effective workout. A warmup delivers blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body while allowing for greater flexibility. Start your warmup before you even get into the pool or swim spa by doing some stretches and calisthenics. When you’re ready to hit the water, practice various strokes at a moderate pace for 15 minutes before ramping up your efforts.
Swimming is unique in that it allows you to hold your body in configurations that would be virtually impossible on dry land. For this reason, it’s important to pay special attention to your form and technique. This can aid in your quest to reduce belly fat while swimming. Pay particular attention to your midriff and abdominal muscles while performing your strokes. If swimming on your front, suck your belly up towards the water surface while holding your stomach muscles taut. If swimming the backstroke, focus on keeping your hips as high as possible while keeping your abs rigid. Concentrating on your core while paddling will increase your strength while burning more calories.
Swimming isn’t the only thing you can do in your pool or swim spa to help burn more calories and fat. Treading water is a surprisingly effective activity for engaging your entire body and increasing your metabolic rate. As you alternate between different strokes, take a minute or two to tread water as hard as possible. You’ll be surprised how much energy it takes.
Although the mention of swimming accessories may conjure up visions of water wings or pool noodles, the fact is that most of the top competitive swimmers use swimming accessories to help improve their workout. Kickboards help isolate specific muscles groups, such as the legs and stomach, and allow the swimmer to concentrate their efforts. Weight belts and water resistance accessories are also frequently used to increase drag and increase the demand on the cardiovascular system.
To learn more about how swimming can help with your physical goals, download a free buyer’s guide today.