Swimming is a great way to lose weight and get in shape. See how many calories you burn with the various strokes and with other water sports at the pool.
Did you overindulge in the chocolate eggs at Easter? Or maybe just take a bit too much of a break from training over the winter? Warm weather is on the way, and that means it’s time to get back in shape. If you’re looking to lose weight before summer, whether it’s to lighten up for race season, get ready for a beach vacation or just fit into your favourite summer clothes, water sports are a great way to shed unwanted kilos and improve your overall health and fitness.
But how many calories can you burn at the pool? Many variables come into play, including the intensity and duration of the activity as well as your weight, age, gender and fitness level. To get a rough idea of how the various alternatives stack up, check out the table below.
Approximate calories burned in 60 minutes
If you want to pick the most time-efficient form of exercise, choose an activity that burns more calories per hour. (But make sure it’s one you enjoy. Butterfly isn’t for everyone.) And remember that these are just rough figures. You can increase the efficiency of any activity by varying the intensity. Interval training (alternating bursts of high intensity with low-intensity recovery periods) is more effective than swimming at a constant moderate intensity level.
To lose 1 kilogram in a week (the maximum recommended), you theoretically need to create a deficit of roughly 7,700 calories, or 1,100 per day. That’s a lot. Depending on how much you’re overeating, you may have a fair margin to lose through diet, but the healthiest approach to weight loss generally involves eating less and exercising more (and, likely, losing the weight a bit more gradually). Plus, of course, don’t neglect all the other guidelines for good health: drinking plenty of water, getting adequate sleep, minimizing stress, and spending quality time with friends and family. Diet and exercise fads come and go, but the fundamental rules still apply!
What’s your favourite calorie-burning activity at the pool?