Swimming also has an after-burn, so the calories are burnt even after the swim. “You increase muscle mass, which increases your metabolism and helps you burn fat even while not exercising,” explains Remedios. But, bear in mind, diet is of great importance if you have chosen swimming as your main workout. “You can’t be eating too many calories if your aim is to lose weight with swimming,” says Kothari.
If your biggest excuse for skipping a workout is being crunched for time, Tabata is your dream come true. It's designed to be four minutes of high-intensity interval training that consists of 20 seconds of all-out effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated eight times, explains Shanon Squires, an exercise physiologist and human performance lab coordinator at Colorado University Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. And you can use this protocol with any number of different exercises. You'll spike your metabolism and heart rate in four minutes, but Squires warns against making this time frame a habit if you're trying to lose weight. "Your body will quickly adapt to that interval, and you'll need to increase the volume or intensity to continue getting a benefit from it," he says. To do that, Rosante suggests extending your session to 20 minutes and following the same format. Simply pick four exercises—think jump rope, squats, mountain climbers, and squat jumps—then do each for 20 seconds as hard and fast as you can (while maintaining proper form, of course), then recovering for 10 seconds and 10 seconds only. Repeat for eight rounds on that one move (so, four minutes of work) before resting for one minute and moving on to the next exercise.
When you're on the elliptical or stationary bike, or you're running on the open road, play something like "Right Here Right Now" by Fatboy Slim, "Ice Princess" by Azaelia Banks, or "Circles" by I See Monstas — three songs that SoulCycle instructor Lily Miesmer likes to play during the interval portions of her classes. With brand new songs, your mind doesn't know what's tempo is coming, so your body won't either. And working hard to keep up when that beat drops will increase your overall calorie burn.
Swimming does exercise almost the entire body—heart, lungs, and muscles—with very little joint strain. Swimming is great for general fitness and health, just not the best way to drop excess pounds. To lose body fat, you must use more calories than you eat through a combination of controlling your food intake and increasing your exercise routine—like doing more swimming.
EAT BREAKFAST within an hour of rising and continue to eat smaller, well balanced meals (think lean protein, good complex carbs and good fats ) throughout the day every 3 hours. If you don’t plan out what you will be eating the next day, this easily falls by the wayside, so get in the habit of making food ahead of time – hard boiled eggs, grilled chicken, cut up raw veggies.
If you’re looking to lose a few pounds, cycling is a great way to start. Hopping on your bike and going for a long, easy ride or doing something shorter and faster both have immense health benefits. But what you eat matters, too, although you don’t necessarily have to forego your favorite foods in order to lose weight. Here are 13 tips that will help you get the ball (er, wheels) rolling.