I grew up with a grandmother who made her own Kombucha, always had a big cast iron pot of millet porridge on the stove and took me to the health food store for carob and licorice root for my “treats”. Until the day she was overcome with terminal cancer, she woke up every morning at 6am to practice her yoga. I have pictures of her in her 70’s with her feet behind her head!
Apart from tracking your rides, of course you will also want to track your weight loss progress. You can do that with a regular scale, but bear in mind that it is vital to ensure your food and exercise mix is causing you to lose only fat, not muscle. For that reason, a really good body composition scale is a great idea. I highly recommend the Nokia Heart Health and Body Composition Scale, which I (and many other people) have had success with. This scale not only tells you what your weight and body composition are, but also tells you your heart rate. You will find that your heart rate decreases as you get fitter, and it is fun and encouraging to record this.
This aerobic exercise strengthens the heart by helping it to become larger; making it more efficient in pumping — which leads to better blood flow throughout your body. Thirty minutes of swimming a day can reduce coronary heart disease in women by 30 to 40 percent. Regular aerobic exercise can reduce blood pressure. Studies have also shown that aerobic exercise like swimming can also keep the layer of cells lining your arteries flexible and in good shape.
The cool thing about swimming is that it works pretty much all of your muscle groups, Lin says. But, obviously, some get more of a workout than others. That include your latissimus dorsi (back) and deltoids (shoulders), since there’s a lot of pulling to get your body through the water. Your pecs, glutes (butt), and quads (thighs) also see some solid action thanks to kicking. “All strokes will engage your core muscles to support your limbs as you propel through the water,” Lin says.

Having worked as a certified fitness trainer for over 23 years, I’ve long since come to the conclusion that if you’re looking for the best exercise to shed a few pounds—and keep them off—nothing beats cycling. Over the years, I’ve seen clients shed half their size and heard from readers who have lost more than 100 pounds by adding cycling to their weight loss arsenal, which, yes, must include a healthy diet. (But you already knew that.)
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