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Start your workout slowly to give your muscles an opportunity to warm up. Focus on your technique: long, powerful strokes move you through the water at a steady pace. Depending on your swimming experience, you can either do a longer swim (400–500 yards) or break it up into shorter distances, with rest every few lengths. But make sure to start slow and build your pace throughout, which raises your heart rate and prepares you to swim fast.
Bicycles are a great strength-training exercise for your core, which acts as the foundation for your body. Lie on a mat with your back flat against it. Without pulling too hard, place your hands behind your head. Raise one knee and bring one elbow down until they meet halfway and touch in the middle of your chest. Continue to alternate your legs and elbows in a bicycle motion for 30 seconds. Breathe slowly and naturally throughout this exercise. Perform four sets, resting one minute between each.
Why: Ever seen an obese rower (who’s not about to capsize)? Thought not. That’s because rowing actions activates muscles throughout the body – from your back’s Latissimus dorsi to your biceps brachii, spreading your fat-burning power across the board. Any kind of compound lift, working multiple muscle groups at the same time, will be a better exercsie to lose weight than isolation moves like bicep curls.
U.S. Masters Swimming encourages adults to enjoy the health, fitness, and social benefits of swimming by providing more than 2,000 adult swimming programs and events across the country, including open water and pool competitions. USMS’s nearly 65,000 members range from age 18 to 99 and include swimmers of all ability levels. The nonprofit also trains and certifies coaches and provides online workouts, a bimonthly member magazine, monthly eNewsletters, and technique articles and videos at usms.org.
The course you choose may have the biggest impact on the number of calories you burn because it will affect both duration and intensity. For best results, you want to choose a course that allows you to pedal consistently without taking too many breaks at stoplights or intersections. These short breaks cause your heart rate to drop, take up too much workout time, and decrease the calorie-burning potential of your ride.
A recent systemic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials comparing the long-term effects (greater than 1 year) of dietary interventions on weight loss showed no sound evidence for recommending low-fat diets. In fact, low-carbohydrate diets led to significantly greater weight loss compared to low-fat interventions. It was observed that a carbohydrate-restricted diet is better than a low-fat diet for retaining an individual’s BMR. In other words, the quality of calories consumed may affect the number of calories burned. BMR dropped by more than 400 kcal/day on a low-fat diet when compared to a very low-carb diet.
Yes, you lose weight when you cut calories, but pounds lost aren’t always fat. Some of your weight loss may also come from muscle tissue. Cyclists that diet often end up thinner, but risk becoming slower and weaker on the bike. As pioneering diet expert Covert Bailey once wrote, “When someone says that they lost 20 pounds, the key question is: 20 pounds of what?” Some dieters can end up having a higher percentage of body fat even as they lose weight. And don’t forget that muscle burns calories. The more muscle volume you have, the more calories your body can burn—even when you’re just lying on the couch.