Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

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djpeteski
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by djpeteski »

4nursebee wrote: Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:38 pm Still no lessons but some progress.
I've been able to go 8 lengths breast stroke with no break.
4 lengths freestyle without a break.
Kickboard has helped improve my freestyle kick some.
40 lengths swum regularly several days a week, though not hooked on this.
Today I am going to work on breast stroke kicks more.
Still fun.
I feel like i am going through this with you.

For me, I started working through the Total Immersion book. I have found it very helpful, but you also need the video. I am getting much better, but did not have a good swim this AM. Friday's swim was excellent though.
Norsky19
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Norsky19 »

Here's a thought, Swimming really well is efficient. Therefore, to burn the calories and get the workout you are looking for, it will require a lot more laps to get the job done. If you are a competent swimmer and somewhat inefficient with your strokes, you will swim less and burn more calories! I think becoming a very good swimmer is good for saving your life if you fall out of a boat and need to reach an island before you drown. :wink: Being a bad swimmer but good enough to not drown in a pool means you will have great workouts just swimming a few laps! :sharebeer
Cycle
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Cycle »

just watch some youtube videos and practice what you see.

i don't have a gym membership, so i just swim the open water course our city runs during the summer, each lap is 1/2 a mile.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way
runner540
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by runner540 »

Norsky19 wrote: Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:33 am Here's a thought, Swimming really well is efficient. Therefore, to burn the calories and get the workout you are looking for, it will require a lot more laps to get the job done. If you are a competent swimmer and somewhat inefficient with your strokes, you will swim less and burn more calories! I think becoming a very good swimmer is good for saving your life if you fall out of a boat and need to reach an island before you drown. :wink: Being a bad swimmer but good enough to not drown in a pool means you will have great workouts just swimming a few laps! :sharebeer
I hope this is a joke...
carol-brennan
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by carol-brennan »

I have not been able to bring myself to swim in public pools since I learned how much urine there is in a typical pool.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/201 ... -the-truth

"Ahead of the London 2012 Olympics, the US swimmer, Ryan Lochte, said: “I think there’s just something about getting into chlorine water that you just automatically go,” and his team-mate, Michael Phelps, agreed it was acceptable behaviour. “I think everybody pees in the pool,” he said. “Chlorine kills it, so it’s not bad.”

However, while urine is sterile, compounds in urine, including urea, ammonia, and creatinine have been found to react with disinfectants to form byproducts known as DBPs that can lead to eye and respiratory irritation. Long-term exposure to the compounds has been linked to asthma in professional swimmers and pool workers."
Norsky19
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Norsky19 »

runner540 wrote: Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:40 am
Norsky19 wrote: Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:33 am Here's a thought, Swimming really well is efficient. Therefore, to burn the calories and get the workout you are looking for, it will require a lot more laps to get the job done. If you are a competent swimmer and somewhat inefficient with your strokes, you will swim less and burn more calories! I think becoming a very good swimmer is good for saving your life if you fall out of a boat and need to reach an island before you drown. :wink: Being a bad swimmer but good enough to not drown in a pool means you will have great workouts just swimming a few laps! :sharebeer
I hope this is a joke...
A joke and factually correct. 8-)
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Youngblood
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Youngblood »

I never needed to lose weight and never liked swimming except when having fun as a kid. Swimming laps in a pool for me is exceedingly boring.

I guess years ago, when I read the short article below, I haven’t even been in the pool at the local gym except for a couple of times.

SWIMMING IS NOT GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS

If you want to lose weight, lower cholesterol, or help to control diabetes, swimming is better than nothing, but not that much better (1).

A recent report from the University of Colorado shows that obese people who start a supervised swimming program do not lower their fasting blood sugar, insulin, total cholesterol, good HDL cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol levels. They also did not lose weight or redistribute their body fat (2).

These results are different from people who start land-based sports such as running, aerobic dancing, racquetball and cycling. When you exercise on land, your body is surrounded by air which insulates you, causing your body to retain heat and your body temperature to rise for up to 18 hours after you finish exercising. Increased body temperature speeds up your metabolism and helps you to lose weight and lower cholesterol. On the other hand, when you swim, your body is surrounded by water which is an excellent conductor of heat away from your body, preventing your body temperature from rising. If you want to lose weight by swimming, the best way is to do it is by using a swimming machine on dry land.

I'm Dr. Gabe Mirkin on Fitness.
"I made my money by selling too soon." | Bernard M. Baruch
alfaspider
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by alfaspider »

Youngblood wrote: Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:05 am I never needed to lose weight and never liked swimming except when having fun as a kid. Swimming laps in a pool for me is exceedingly boring.

I guess years ago, when I read the short article below, I haven’t even been in the pool at the local gym except for a couple of times.

SWIMMING IS NOT GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS

If you want to lose weight, lower cholesterol, or help to control diabetes, swimming is better than nothing, but not that much better (1).

A recent report from the University of Colorado shows that obese people who start a supervised swimming program do not lower their fasting blood sugar, insulin, total cholesterol, good HDL cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol levels. They also did not lose weight or redistribute their body fat (2).

These results are different from people who start land-based sports such as running, aerobic dancing, racquetball and cycling. When you exercise on land, your body is surrounded by air which insulates you, causing your body to retain heat and your body temperature to rise for up to 18 hours after you finish exercising. Increased body temperature speeds up your metabolism and helps you to lose weight and lower cholesterol. On the other hand, when you swim, your body is surrounded by water which is an excellent conductor of heat away from your body, preventing your body temperature from rising. If you want to lose weight by swimming, the best way is to do it is by using a swimming machine on dry land.

I'm Dr. Gabe Mirkin on Fitness.
The only thing that causes weight loss is a calorie deficit. Exercise can help you run a calorie deficit by increasing your burn rate, allowing you to eat a more "normal" feeling quantity of food while still maintaining a deficit. But it can also stimulate your appetite, so it's a double-edged sword.

I'm quite skeptical of the explanation that water's heat conductivity has anything to do with reduced weight loss in swimmers. Swimming may burn fewer calories than if it took place in air, but it's still burning calories relative to sitting around. Perhaps it is more appetite stimulative than other aerobic endeavors. As for cholesterol and such, it's far too difficult to draw conclusions if the study was not strictly diet controlled. Perhaps the people who started swimming decided they could binge on french fries after burning all those calories in the pool. The article does not mention what constitutes a "supervised swimming program" or who the participants were. Were they fit 20 year-olds in a strenuous athletic training regimen or obese 70 year olds doing mild water aerobics?
stoptothink
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by stoptothink »

alfaspider wrote: Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:17 am
Youngblood wrote: Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:05 am I never needed to lose weight and never liked swimming except when having fun as a kid. Swimming laps in a pool for me is exceedingly boring.

I guess years ago, when I read the short article below, I haven’t even been in the pool at the local gym except for a couple of times.

SWIMMING IS NOT GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS

If you want to lose weight, lower cholesterol, or help to control diabetes, swimming is better than nothing, but not that much better (1).

A recent report from the University of Colorado shows that obese people who start a supervised swimming program do not lower their fasting blood sugar, insulin, total cholesterol, good HDL cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol levels. They also did not lose weight or redistribute their body fat (2).

These results are different from people who start land-based sports such as running, aerobic dancing, racquetball and cycling. When you exercise on land, your body is surrounded by air which insulates you, causing your body to retain heat and your body temperature to rise for up to 18 hours after you finish exercising. Increased body temperature speeds up your metabolism and helps you to lose weight and lower cholesterol. On the other hand, when you swim, your body is surrounded by water which is an excellent conductor of heat away from your body, preventing your body temperature from rising. If you want to lose weight by swimming, the best way is to do it is by using a swimming machine on dry land.

I'm Dr. Gabe Mirkin on Fitness.
The only thing that causes weight loss is a calorie deficit. Exercise can help you run a calorie deficit by increasing your burn rate, allowing you to eat a more "normal" feeling quantity of food while still maintaining a deficit. But it can also stimulate your appetite, so it's a double-edged sword.

I'm quite skeptical of the explanation that water's heat conductivity has anything to do with reduced weight loss in swimmers. Swimming may burn fewer calories than if it took place in air, but it's still burning calories relative to sitting around. Perhaps it is more appetite stimulative than other aerobic endeavors. As for cholesterol and such, it's far too difficult to draw conclusions if the study was not strictly diet controlled. Perhaps the people who started swimming decided they could binge on french fries after burning all those calories in the pool. The article does not mention what constitutes a "supervised swimming program" or who the participants were. Were they fit 20 year-olds in a strenuous athletic training regimen or obese 70 year olds doing mild water aerobics?
"A recent report"...I doubt that got through peer-review. So many uncontrolled factors in that study design. It doesn't make any sense.
Hikes_With_Dogs
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Hikes_With_Dogs »

Re: diet


As a triathlete, I swim, bike, and run regularly.

NOTHING makes me as hungry as swimming. I am hungrier after swimming 30 minutes than I am after running 2 hrs. I trust my body to know when it's calorie depleted and when it's expended a lot of energy. I always thought it was extra expended effort keeping my core body temperature up as well as the cardio.
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4nursebee
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by 4nursebee »

I'm never going to swim with Lochte, Phelps, and one BH poster.
I've lost almost 20# in two months from limiting carbs (we use carbs/sugars for energy, not calories) and exercising, principally through swimming.
I am not hungry after exercising. I am exhausted.
I enjoy watching videos so far and try to work on something different each time I swim. Likely why I have not looked for coaching.
15W feet limit fins, thus far have not seen any. However, I have been able to really see improvement without.

Today I was able to swim four lengths with freestyle kicking alone using a board. I've done that amount before but had to take breaks by standing up 1-2 times each length. Speed better but still hard work.
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runner540
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by runner540 »

Hikes_With_Dogs wrote: Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:26 am Re: diet


As a triathlete, I swim, bike, and run regularly.

NOTHING makes me as hungry as swimming. I am hungrier after swimming 30 minutes than I am after running 2 hrs. I trust my body to know when it's calorie depleted and when it's expended a lot of energy. I always thought it was extra expended effort keeping my core body temperature up as well as the cardio.

+1
This thread is so entertaining. So far people have said that swimming (efficiently) doesn't burn many calories, and that breathing with a snorkel is just as good for fitness as without. There are several groups of swimmers and all are on thia thread: people who swam/swim competitively (flip turns, side breathing, all 4 strokes), triathletes, and dabblers.
jminv
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by jminv »

4nursebee wrote: Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:38 pm Still no lessons but some progress.
I've been able to go 8 lengths breast stroke with no break.
4 lengths freestyle without a break.
Kickboard has helped improve my freestyle kick some.
40 lengths swum regularly several days a week, though not hooked on this.
Today I am going to work on breast stroke kicks more.
Still fun.
I would recommend a few lessons and/or having someone taping your stroke method and comparing it against how it 'should' be done. It is very easy to get into a bad technique and harder to get out of it. Having a good technique will also make swimming much more enjoyable, allow you to move more quickly, and address breathing issues, which can create anxiety/panic for new swimmers. If you don't do lessons, do try the comparison method.

I was a competitive swimmer, started when I was very young. I spent a significant portion of my life up to university in the pool. Swimming is great exercise, especially when you push yourself very hard for an extended duration. What I don't like about swimming is how boring it became for me. I was in the pool twice a day for 3+ hours total a day. It's the water and your thoughts, which in moderation is enjoyable. As an adult, I don't like to swim for more than 20 minutes for this reason, though, and push myself very hard in those 20 minutes. It's good to combine swimming as part of a broader workout routine. The worst part about swimming, though, is how quickly you lose your touch for the water. It's crazy how much you lose in just a week of not swimming.

You didn't mention backstroke, but you should try it if you haven't already. I was best at butterfly followed by backstroke. At a slower pace, backstroke can be relaxing and a nice change of routine.
SrGrumpy
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by SrGrumpy »

jminv wrote: Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:13 pm What I don't like about swimming is how boring it became for me.
Ha! I definitely count down the last 10 minutes of my workout: "Are we there yet?" There's no rule against taking a break, yakking with someone in the next lane, floating on the back for a bit and gazing at the birds overhead. And then resuming.
4nursebee wrote: Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:59 am Today I was able to swim four lengths with freestyle kicking alone using a board. I've done that amount before but had to take breaks by standing up 1-2 times each length. Speed better but still hard work.
How long is the length? I'd shoot myself if I was doing that drill in a 50-meter pool. Kicking is definitely hard work for little overall contribution to the stroke.
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4nursebee
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by 4nursebee »

SrGrumpy wrote: Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:39 pm
jminv wrote: Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:13 pm What I don't like about swimming is how boring it became for me.
Ha! I definitely count down the last 10 minutes of my workout: "Are we there yet?" There's no rule against taking a break, yakking with someone in the next lane, floating on the back for a bit and gazing at the birds overhead. And then resuming.
4nursebee wrote: Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:59 am Today I was able to swim four lengths with freestyle kicking alone using a board. I've done that amount before but had to take breaks by standing up 1-2 times each length. Speed better but still hard work.
How long is the length? I'd shoot myself if I was doing that drill in a 50-meter pool. Kicking is definitely hard work for little overall contribution to the stroke.

I do not know how long the pool is but 72 lengths is one mile, 36 laps is one mile.
I do back stroke sometimes, not many laps. It is on my list to build laps when the pool is calm (I get a lot of water in when inhaling)
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SrGrumpy
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by SrGrumpy »

4nursebee wrote: Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:25 pm I do not know how long the pool is but 72 lengths is one mile, 36 laps is one mile.
I do back stroke sometimes, not many laps. It is on my list to build laps when the pool is calm (I get a lot of water in when inhaling)
Sounds like 25 yards or so each way. That's a good length. If you get bored, you can change it up by doing kicking slowly for one length and then fast for the next one - all sorts of fun patterns at your disposal. A length could also begin quickly, then you slow down, then finish fast.
Grateful1
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Grateful1 »

From personal experience as a later in life learned to swim swimmer, I would strongly recommend the Total Immersion Swimming videos. The Total Immersion course teaches proper technique in an easy to accomplish series of mini-steps. And technique is everything in swimming. The video course will start you off right with a stroke that keeps you arm motion in "the scapular plane" and thus avoids shoulder injury.

I began as a non-swimmer at age 65 and after 2 years now have swum a cumulative 425 miles. Currently I swim a mile at a time, 4 times per week and am having a heck of good time doing it.
No one is more surprised by this than me. I got hooked on the continuous improvement aspect of technique. Luckily I have a nearby indoor public pool. Now for me a day without swimming is like a day without sunshine. It is NOT about power or working hard.It is about balance & streamlined body position to minimize drag. Learning to keep your head low in the water is vital as otherwise your legs sink increasing frontal drag. Breathing becomes easy with body rotation rather than head lift. You can always rotate to air and the air is free so take all you want as they say. But the bigger hurdle is learning to exhale fully and avoiding breath holding which is very tiring. Who would lift weights at the gym while holding there breath? Same with this exercise. Using a swim snorkel at first may speed your initial progress. Goggles are essential. Once you begin to swim significant periods of time it is helpful to us a skin moisturized after your post swimming session shower to avoid dry itchy skin. Don't be intimidated by other lap swimmers. Just inquire about the local lane etiquette and join in. Everyone started at the beginning at one time. If you stick with it your progress will be rapid and in 4 months you won't believe how well you can swim. Once again I highly recommend the Total Immersion course. I can often recognize TI swimmers in the lap lanes. They tend to have good body position keep their head low, rotate to breath, have a high elbow lead recovery, a full stroke with body rotation that takes advantage of gravity and core muscles for power. They look long and streamlined, and seem to glide down the pool rotating side to side, with rhythm and grace.
For a beginner I would recommend the " Effortless Endurance Self-Coaching Course" from Total Immersion.
msk
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by msk »

Just for a contrarian view. I used to swim 500 yards daily in a solar heated outdoor pool. Frankly, I find most talk about technique somewhat strange. The whole point of swimming is exercise. Excellent technique implies the least exercise and exhaustion :shock: Poor technique and you really work hard at it. Anyway a couple of years back I had open heart surgery, at age 72, despite the swimming. Valve issues; one repair, one replacement with a bio prosthesis, plus one bypass. I had nil symptoms, perhaps because of the swimming? Surgery was recommended because a routine check indicated a murmur. Mr Google said my median life expectancy was 2 years, then I wasted half a year thinking about it... After the surgery I became somewhat confused. I am on some medication to slow down my heart beats. Is that not the opposite of vigorous exercise? Amongst a dozen of my buddies, only one died of heart issues; a couple of years after being fitted with a pacemaker/defibrillator. Died at age 78. Seems these days we all undergo heart surgery/stents sooner or later. After that we seem to do well until weird diseases crop up. None of my buddies exercise :annoyed Then I noted that my buddies of similar age (70 to 80+) are dying of stuff other than heart issues. Everyone seems to end up with some disease that none of us have ever heard of (e.g. idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, refracting anaemia, supranuclear progressive Parkinson, etc.). So, all you youngsters under 70: keep swimming, vigorously, and get that heart repaired quickly (like most of my buddies). After the repairs I have chosen to just relax, until some weird disease I have never heard of strikes :annoyed
runner540
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by runner540 »

msk wrote: Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:23 am Just for a contrarian view. I used to swim 500 yards daily in a solar heated outdoor pool. Frankly, I find most talk about technique somewhat strange. The whole point of swimming is exercise. Excellent technique implies the least exercise and exhaustion :shock: Poor technique and you really work hard at it.
Um what? Are the Olympic swimmers in really bad shape because they're too good at swimming?? Good technique prevents injury and lets you go faster - and you will get a great workout if you are focused on swimming more and faster.
Are you saying since you had health issues, swimming is useless?
stoptothink
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by stoptothink »

msk wrote: Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:23 am Just for a contrarian view. I used to swim 500 yards daily in a solar heated outdoor pool. Frankly, I find most talk about technique somewhat strange. The whole point of swimming is exercise. Excellent technique implies the least exercise and exhaustion :shock: Poor technique and you really work hard at it. Anyway a couple of years back I had open heart surgery, at age 72, despite the swimming. Valve issues; one repair, one replacement with a bio prosthesis, plus one bypass. I had nil symptoms, perhaps because of the swimming? Surgery was recommended because a routine check indicated a murmur. Mr Google said my median life expectancy was 2 years, then I wasted half a year thinking about it... After the surgery I became somewhat confused. I am on some medication to slow down my heart beats. Is that not the opposite of vigorous exercise? Amongst a dozen of my buddies, only one died of heart issues; a couple of years after being fitted with a pacemaker/defibrillator. Died at age 78. Seems these days we all undergo heart surgery/stents sooner or later. After that we seem to do well until weird diseases crop up. None of my buddies exercise :annoyed Then I noted that my buddies of similar age (70 to 80+) are dying of stuff other than heart issues. Everyone seems to end up with some disease that none of us have ever heard of (e.g. idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, refracting anaemia, supranuclear progressive Parkinson, etc.). So, all you youngsters under 70: keep swimming, vigorously, and get that heart repaired quickly (like most of my buddies). After the repairs I have chosen to just relax, until some weird disease I have never heard of strikes :annoyed
:oops: Good technique does not preclude you from getting a good workout, it simply means you go faster at the same level of intensity. I remember a similar sentiment in a thread about rowing: it is not the modality, it is your intensity. If you aren't "getting a good workout", push yourself harder. PERIOD. Some absolutely bizarre ideas about exercise in this thread.
SrGrumpy
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by SrGrumpy »

msk wrote: Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:23 amPoor technique and you really work hard at it.
... and then you wonder why you got that rotator cuff injury. A beautiful stroke is a sight to behold - "rhythm and grace," as @grateful1 stated four posts upthread.
msk
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by msk »

My post was a bit tongue-in-cheek. I swim quite well, DW does not. She hates swimming because just a 50 yards totally exhausts her. Never did figure out the breathing bit. Just from personal observations (I meet around a dozen childhood buddies aged 70+ weekly) I do believe that exercise is hugely important for, say, up to age 70. My buddies include semi pro soccer players (i.e. in excellent shape most of their lives), but beyond 70 it does seem that nature just intrudes rudely to kill you off. Funnily enough, there does not seem to be any exercise/nonexercise pattern as to who needs cardiac repairs by 70+. I must admit that surviving heart attacks/repairs seems quite common amongst my dozen buddies (6 out of 12 already!), a major, quiet advance over the past few decades. My Mom is a great believer in lifelong exercise (currently 91) but even she needed an aortic valve replacement (by catheter) at age 87 following a lifetime of that valve leaking post rheumatic fever in childhood. Kids, keep exercising :beer Umm. Less beer...
Carol88888
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Carol88888 »

I was really helped by a swimming course I took through Total Immersion Swimming. You can also check out the books and videos. A very relaxed freestyle stroke is taught that when done properly looks beautiful and reduces the sense of effort. Check out some of the free video clips on internet.
SrGrumpy
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by SrGrumpy »

Resurrecting an old thread.

OP -- summer's in full swing. How's the swimming going?
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crystalbank
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by crystalbank »

Started swimming atleast 2x-3x per week starting this year and recently joined an Advanced Swimming Lessons group. The training was immensely helpful especially for strokes other than freestyle. Like OP, I too found swimming at a consistent pace very relaxing and zen like. Eventually I wanna join a Master Swim group, but they can get very intense.

I wasn't trying to lose a lot of weight, but swimming slightly helped. If anyone out there wants to burn a lot of calories, I suggest the 'Butterfly' stroke. Very intense and burns a lot of calories compared to all other strokes.

My only complaint is the pools around here in LA are crowded! I always have to share the lane with multiple people and there are so many kids in the pool anytime of the year.
fru-gal
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by fru-gal »

There seems to be a lot of overthinking going on here. Stick to the crawl, breathe when you're comfortable, relax, avoid the breast stroke, which is an invention of the devil.
Sophia1884
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Sophia1884 »

Therapist Investor wrote: Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:58 am I swam competitively in high school, was a part time swim coach in college, and then gave it up for most of my 20s. I recently returned to the sport. There is so much technique to learn that you really need a coach regardless of when you are learning. It's easier to learn as a child, but you can definitely learn to swim as an adult if you are patient and work hard. There are multiple drills for each stroke that help you get the basics down. I recommend you look for a master's swim team in your area...one that advertises itself as being for swimmers at all levels. If you join a master's swim team, they should be able to provide the coaching that will help you pick up each stroke.

I recently joined a master's swim team and have loved the fact that it provides a new group of people, extra motivation on those early mornings, and someone telling you what to do in the water. If you swim alone, you have to be really self-motivated, something that I just do not possess when it comes to exercise.

Best of luck!

I learned in my mid 20s and very highly recommend working with an swim coach, one-on-one (make sure they have plenty of experience with adults. Triathlon coaches are great here too) for maybe 3-5 lessons. You won't become a master but that's how long it took me to become comfortable with the strokes/breathing + Youtube videos of how it all looked underwater. For practice I joined a local masters teams and in the beginning wasn't able to keep up with even the kiddos of the local swim team that practiced with the masters team. 3 months in...keeping up with the kiddos. 6 months...getting an amazing workout. 1 yr...pegged as a swimmer for my developed back muscles and asked for advice for adult swimmers. Life comes 'round full circle :D
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4nursebee
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by 4nursebee »

OK, someone asked a while ago for an update.
My pool shot down during Covid and I hated it. It is now back open, appointment only which makes this gym shy person happy, no sharing lanes. My current routine is to try and swim 3x a week, half a mile each time. 12 lengths breast to start. First four or so are slow, then I pick up the pace. Minimal to no rest between. 12 lengths back stroke, trying on my own to be total immersion aware but really have no grand idea on success. This stroke is much improved and fun. No rests, pushing the pace the last half. 12 lengths free but my stroke was so horrible I've been doiing things different. Learning total immersion on my own was ok, but a friend was a triathlete, came and watched, offered some pointers. Now I use one of those fancy pinch in your knees float things while holding onto a float with one arm while stroking slow and steady with one arm, 4 lengths each. Small break at times to reflect, visualize improvement. Then I do free normally. Periodically I do a mostly freestyle day. I switch up which side I breathe from, left is better and smoother, right takes on water at times. I likely lift my head out of the water too much. I have MP hand paddles to add resistance to each of these at times. Rarely physically exhausted which is good as I age. Back feels great and I really enjoy the time. Takes about 40 minutes. I wonder about training for some event but think it would be too much like work rather than enjoyable exercise.
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Tubes
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Tubes »

fru-gal wrote: Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:55 am There seems to be a lot of overthinking going on here. Stick to the crawl, breathe when you're comfortable, relax, avoid the breast stroke, which is an invention of the devil.
In previous times, I didn't understand this statement. Now that I'm 55+, I understand.

I stopped the butterfly because of my shoulders.
I stopped flip turns because of my back.
Now I stopped breast stroke because of my knees.

Back to freestyle crawl 3x week, 72 lengths in a 25 yd pool, which is about a mile, somewhere between 40 to 43 minutes. In younger days, I could crank that out in 30 min easy. Every now and then I throw in a little backstroke, which I generally hate, but it is easy on the body. Men don't like backstroke.

I'm just happy to be swimming. Arthritis sucks. Swimming helps.

We're currently in our neighborhood pool during early morning ad hoc swimming. In past years, we'd be the only ones. This year, the small pool is full (6 lanes). Everyone has been instructed on Covid procedures. I feel OK about passing someone quickly with most people breathing through filtered bubbles. It is only a small risk. The only complaint? No lane lines. Too turbulent, but that's life in a neighborhood outdoor pool, primarily used for kid-fun-time. After labor day we'll have to sign up with the city pool and go through strict scheduling procedures (due to covid).

The shutdown months from March thru early June were really, really tough. I need my swimming.
lazydavid
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by lazydavid »

cheese_breath wrote: Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:17 am Also get a good set of goggles. The chlorine never used to bother me in those days, but one day in our OPC's (Older Person's Center) pool left my eyes red for a week. Maybe it's extra strong to kill off all the old people diseases. :wink: Anyway, I swam there regularly for about two years until DW convinced me it probably wasn't healthy swimming in chlorine that strong.
Water that burns your eyes or turns them red is a pH thing most of the time--typically too low (below 7.4). Too much chlorine typically burns your nostrils when you get close to it. :) Either way, poorly balanced water.

I was never a competitive swimmer, but trained as a lifeguard. As a result, my head-up freestyle (which is the primary stroke for LGs--need to keep your eyes on the situation) is quite good, and very nearly as fast as I ever got with a traditional side-breathing crawl. Also have a powerful sidestroke and a pretty decent backstroke--which like another person said, is my "resting" stroke. My breaststroke is terrible, except when kicking off the wall underwater, and I can't butterfly at all.
Kelrex
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Kelrex »

I'm a useless swimmer, really quite tragic actually. My swim coach had one session with me, told me I would never be able to swim laps, and refunded my money.
It was truly pathetic.

Between a severe rotator cuff injury that prevents me from reaching my arm above my head, multiple spinal injuries including a neck injury, and a nasty lung lining issue, I just cannot actually swim like a normal person with any degree of efficiency or safety.

Still, I love the pool, so I grab my Michael Phelps brand snorkel (comfy), and very, very, veeeery slowly do kick-only laps. I bought some waterproof Bluetooth headphones, pop on a good audiobook, and listen to the soothing content of Taleb screaming at me about asymmetry.

It's inefficient and psychologically a lot like taking a nice, slow walk, but the cardio of kick only laps is actually pretty impressive.

So for anyone who is sufficiently mangled like myself but still looking for a decent heart pump in the pool, a snorkel and kick only is a great alternative as long as you are comfortable with looking ridiculous.
vested1
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by vested1 »

Swimming is a gift you can give to your children or grandchildren. Don't deny them that. Sign them up for lessons. If you haven't experienced the joy of swimming yourself, it's never too late to learn.
Last edited by vested1 on Fri Aug 28, 2020 6:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
jodhpur
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by jodhpur »

Total Immersion Swimming is a great book on technique. I'm sure there are plenty of others, but it has a few concepts that pay off pretty quickly. The other key is to learn to use the clock for intervals. A Masters swim team will certainly be using the clock. It's well worth spending a month with a group to learn how to structure a workout....
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Tubes
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Tubes »

Kelrex wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:56 am Still, I love the pool, so I grab my Michael Phelps brand snorkel (comfy), and very, very, veeeery slowly do kick-only laps. I bought some waterproof Bluetooth headphones, pop on a good audiobook, and listen to the soothing content of Taleb screaming at me about asymmetry.
There is nothing wrong with snorkel swimming. Since this is an advice thread, I'll bold it. Use a snorkel if you have neck issues.

Again, in my young days, I used to be befuddled by snorkel swimmers, non-flip turners, over-kickers, etc. I was wrong. Do whatever you need to do to keep moving. Snorkels are great for people with cervical spine problems. Kicking is great if you have shoulder problems. I throw in pulling when my knees act up.

Anything in the pool getting you moving is good. Even water walking.
frugalprof
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by frugalprof »

I enjoy swimming and don't mind counting laps.

On odd laps I always look to the west side of the pool when I breathe, and on even laps I look to the east side.
lightheir
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by lightheir »

Kelrex wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:56 am I'm a useless swimmer, really quite tragic actually. My swim coach had one session with me, told me I would never be able to swim laps, and refunded my money.
It was truly pathetic.

Between a severe rotator cuff injury that prevents me from reaching my arm above my head, multiple spinal injuries including a neck injury, and a nasty lung lining issue, I just cannot actually swim like a normal person with any degree of efficiency or safety.

Still, I love the pool, so I grab my Michael Phelps brand snorkel (comfy), and very, very, veeeery slowly do kick-only laps. I bought some waterproof Bluetooth headphones, pop on a good audiobook, and listen to the soothing content of Taleb screaming at me about asymmetry.

It's inefficient and psychologically a lot like taking a nice, slow walk, but the cardio of kick only laps is actually pretty impressive.

So for anyone who is sufficiently mangled like myself but still looking for a decent heart pump in the pool, a snorkel and kick only is a great alternative as long as you are comfortable with looking ridiculous.
You might want to try pool running. Get in water up to your neck, and go as hard/easy as you want. Terrific workout and spares the joints.

I'm young enough to still race triathlons all-out but I still love doing pool running once inawhile just to mix it up, and I go pretty hard when I do it.
Kelrex
Posts: 133
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Kelrex »

Tubes wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 1:08 pm
Kelrex wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:56 am Still, I love the pool, so I grab my Michael Phelps brand snorkel (comfy), and very, very, veeeery slowly do kick-only laps. I bought some waterproof Bluetooth headphones, pop on a good audiobook, and listen to the soothing content of Taleb screaming at me about asymmetry.
There is nothing wrong with snorkel swimming. Since this is an advice thread, I'll bold it. Use a snorkel if you have neck issues.

Again, in my young days, I used to be befuddled by snorkel swimmers, non-flip turners, over-kickers, etc. I was wrong. Do whatever you need to do to keep moving. Snorkels are great for people with cervical spine problems. Kicking is great if you have shoulder problems. I throw in pulling when my knees act up.

Anything in the pool getting you moving is good. Even water walking.
Plus I bought this condo specifically for the giant pool, so it would be pretty lame not to use it.
Swimmer
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Swimmer »

alfaspider wrote: Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:17 am
Youngblood wrote: Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:05 am I never needed to lose weight and never liked swimming except when having fun as a kid. Swimming laps in a pool for me is exceedingly boring.

I guess years ago, when I read the short article below, I haven’t even been in the pool at the local gym except for a couple of times.

SWIMMING IS NOT GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS

If you want to lose weight, lower cholesterol, or help to control diabetes, swimming is better than nothing, but not that much better (1).

A recent report from the University of Colorado shows that obese people who start a supervised swimming program do not lower their fasting blood sugar, insulin, total cholesterol, good HDL cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol levels. They also did not lose weight or redistribute their body fat (2).

These results are different from people who start land-based sports such as running, aerobic dancing, racquetball and cycling. When you exercise on land, your body is surrounded by air which insulates you, causing your body to retain heat and your body temperature to rise for up to 18 hours after you finish exercising. Increased body temperature speeds up your metabolism and helps you to lose weight and lower cholesterol. On the other hand, when you swim, your body is surrounded by water which is an excellent conductor of heat away from your body, preventing your body temperature from rising. If you want to lose weight by swimming, the best way is to do it is by using a swimming machine on dry land.

I'm Dr. Gabe Mirkin on Fitness.
The only thing that causes weight loss is a calorie deficit. Exercise can help you run a calorie deficit by increasing your burn rate, allowing you to eat a more "normal" feeling quantity of food while still maintaining a deficit. But it can also stimulate your appetite, so it's a double-edged sword.

I'm quite skeptical of the explanation that water's heat conductivity has anything to do with reduced weight loss in swimmers. Swimming may burn fewer calories than if it took place in air, but it's still burning calories relative to sitting around. Perhaps it is more appetite stimulative than other aerobic endeavors. As for cholesterol and such, it's far too difficult to draw conclusions if the study was not strictly diet controlled. Perhaps the people who started swimming decided they could binge on french fries after burning all those calories in the pool. The article does not mention what constitutes a "supervised swimming program" or who the participants were. Were they fit 20 year-olds in a strenuous athletic training regimen or obese 70 year olds doing mild water aerobics?

Dr. Jason Fung, in his book “The Obesity Code,” says weight loss is 95% diet and 5% exercise. I’ve been a swimmer for years—30 pounds overweight—and no matter how I increased my workouts,I never lost weight because my diet remained the same. Don’t get me wrong, I felt great. Just didn’t lose weight. When I adopted the lifestyle Dr. Fung recommends, I lost 30+ in 1.5 years. I’ve kept it off. I’m still swimming about a mile/day but am convinced my eating habits keep me from regaining the weight, not the swimming.

My knee pain (I was on a path toward knee replacements) and heartburn are gone. Essentially, no sugar, no flour, no preservatives and no between meal snacks. Just new habits.

I love my swimming but am convinced it is not the key to weight loss.
chipperd
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by chipperd »

I swam competitively as a youngster and mini triathlons as a young adult. I always loved that unique feeling of the water. So much so that, due to our pool limitations (27 foot round above ground, I grabbed an old dress belt, tied a rope to it, tied the other end of the rope to a post, and put my feet up on a noodle and just swim. It got monotonous not going anywhere so I bought waterproof mp3/headphone set up ( about $45 on amazon) and this makes for a much better "swimming treadmill" experience. Due to neck injury sustained in judo in college, I use a snorkel (love that thing: https://www.amazon.com/Focevi-Swimming- ... in_0_title)
with goggles to avoid the high number of head turns and resultant neck pain the next day
Can't wait to find an indoor pool to do actual laps. After I swim for about 8 songs, I actually run in about 5 circles to get a whirlpool going then swim against it for a while just to get that feeling of moving through the water.
Re: weight loss, I agree diet is almost everything. I've been following the intermittent fasting intake routine (8 on/16 off) fairly well and dropped 25 lbs since Dec. That's worth checking out if that's the goal. Was recommended by my MD.
alfaspider
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by alfaspider »

Swimmer wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:22 pm
alfaspider wrote: Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:17 am
Youngblood wrote: Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:05 am I never needed to lose weight and never liked swimming except when having fun as a kid. Swimming laps in a pool for me is exceedingly boring.

I guess years ago, when I read the short article below, I haven’t even been in the pool at the local gym except for a couple of times.

SWIMMING IS NOT GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS

If you want to lose weight, lower cholesterol, or help to control diabetes, swimming is better than nothing, but not that much better (1).

A recent report from the University of Colorado shows that obese people who start a supervised swimming program do not lower their fasting blood sugar, insulin, total cholesterol, good HDL cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol levels. They also did not lose weight or redistribute their body fat (2).

These results are different from people who start land-based sports such as running, aerobic dancing, racquetball and cycling. When you exercise on land, your body is surrounded by air which insulates you, causing your body to retain heat and your body temperature to rise for up to 18 hours after you finish exercising. Increased body temperature speeds up your metabolism and helps you to lose weight and lower cholesterol. On the other hand, when you swim, your body is surrounded by water which is an excellent conductor of heat away from your body, preventing your body temperature from rising. If you want to lose weight by swimming, the best way is to do it is by using a swimming machine on dry land.

I'm Dr. Gabe Mirkin on Fitness.
The only thing that causes weight loss is a calorie deficit. Exercise can help you run a calorie deficit by increasing your burn rate, allowing you to eat a more "normal" feeling quantity of food while still maintaining a deficit. But it can also stimulate your appetite, so it's a double-edged sword.

I'm quite skeptical of the explanation that water's heat conductivity has anything to do with reduced weight loss in swimmers. Swimming may burn fewer calories than if it took place in air, but it's still burning calories relative to sitting around. Perhaps it is more appetite stimulative than other aerobic endeavors. As for cholesterol and such, it's far too difficult to draw conclusions if the study was not strictly diet controlled. Perhaps the people who started swimming decided they could binge on french fries after burning all those calories in the pool. The article does not mention what constitutes a "supervised swimming program" or who the participants were. Were they fit 20 year-olds in a strenuous athletic training regimen or obese 70 year olds doing mild water aerobics?

Dr. Jason Fung, in his book “The Obesity Code,” says weight loss is 95% diet and 5% exercise. I’ve been a swimmer for years—30 pounds overweight—and no matter how I increased my workouts,I never lost weight because my diet remained the same. Don’t get me wrong, I felt great. Just didn’t lose weight. When I adopted the lifestyle Dr. Fung recommends, I lost 30+ in 1.5 years. I’ve kept it off. I’m still swimming about a mile/day but am convinced my eating habits keep me from regaining the weight, not the swimming.

My knee pain (I was on a path toward knee replacements) and heartburn are gone. Essentially, no sugar, no flour, no preservatives and no between meal snacks. Just new habits.

I love my swimming but am convinced it is not the key to weight loss.
I think it's hard to assign percentages because the two behaviors influence each other. The reason why people tend to say it's 95% diet is because the vast majority of people do not exercise at the intensity and duration required to trigger a massive shift in caloric needs.

Even daily gym visits won't cause massive caloric intake shifts. An extra snack + a soda or two can easily wipe out the caloric burn from the gym. But if you swim like Michael Phelps' training regimen or lift like a pro bodybuilder while keeping the same diet you had while sedentary, you will almost certainly lose weight quite quickly.

I'd also point out that exercise is also very helpful for body composition (not just weight). Two people at the same weight and height may have very different body composition, which can have a big impact on health and appearance.
Swimmer
Posts: 416
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:24 pm

Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Swimmer »

alfaspider wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:11 pm
Swimmer wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:22 pm
alfaspider wrote: Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:17 am
Youngblood wrote: Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:05 am I never needed to lose weight and never liked swimming except when having fun as a kid. Swimming laps in a pool for me is exceedingly boring.

I guess years ago, when I read the short article below, I haven’t even been in the pool at the local gym except for a couple of times.

SWIMMING IS NOT GOOD FOR WEIGHT LOSS

If you want to lose weight, lower cholesterol, or help to control diabetes, swimming is better than nothing, but not that much better (1)


A recent report from the University of Colorado shows that obese people who start a supervised swimming program do not lower their fasting blood sugar, insulin, total cholesterol, good HDL cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol levels. They also did not lose weight or redistribute their body fat (2).

These results are different from people who start land-based sports such as running, aerobic dancing, racquetball and cycling. When you exercise on land, your body is surrounded by air which insulates you, causing your body to retain heat and your body temperature to rise for up to 18 hours after you finish exercising. Increased body temperature speeds up your metabolism and helps you to lose weight and lower cholesterol. On the other hand, when you swim, your body is surrounded by water which is an excellent conductor of heat away from your body, preventing your body temperature from rising. If you want to lose weight by swimming, the best way is to do it is by using a swimming machine on dry land.

I'm Dr. Gabe Mirkin on Fitness.
The only thing that causes weight loss is a calorie deficit. Exercise can help you run a calorie deficit by increasing your burn rate, allowing you to eat a more "normal" feeling quantity of food while still maintaining a deficit. But it can also stimulate your appetite, so it's a double-edged sword.

I'm quite skeptical of the explanation that water's heat conductivity has anything to do with reduced weight loss in swimmers. Swimming may burn fewer calories than if it took place in air, but it's still burning calories relative to sitting around. Perhaps it is more appetite stimulative than other aerobic endeavors. As for cholesterol and such, it's far too difficult to draw conclusions if the study was not strictly diet controlled. Perhaps the people who started swimming decided they could binge on french fries after burning all those calories in the pool. The article does not mention what constitutes a "supervised swimming program" or who the participants were. Were they fit 20 year-olds in a strenuous athletic training regimen or obese 70 year olds doing mild water aerobics?

Dr. Jason Fung, in his book “The Obesity Code,” says weight loss is 95% diet and 5% exercise. I’ve been a swimmer for years—30 pounds overweight—and no matter how I increased my workouts,I never lost weight because my diet remained the same. Don’t get me wrong, I felt great. Just didn’t lose weight. When I adopted the lifestyle Dr. Fung recommends, I lost 30+ in 1.5 years. I’ve kept it off. I’m still swimming about a mile/day but am convinced my eating habits keep me from regaining the weight, not the swimming.

My knee pain (I was on a path toward knee replacements) and heartburn are gone. Essentially, no sugar, no flour, no preservatives and no between meal snacks. Just new habits.

I love my swimming but am convinced it is not the key to weight loss.
I think it's hard to assign percentages because the two behaviors influence each other. The reason why people tend to say it's 95% diet is because the vast majority of people do not exercise at the intensity and duration required to trigger a massive shift in caloric needs.

Even daily gym visits won't cause massive caloric intake shifts. An extra snack + a soda or two can easily wipe out the caloric burn from the gym. But if you swim like Michael Phelps' training regimen or lift like a pro bodybuilder while keeping the same diet you had while sedentary, you will almost certainly lose weight quite quickly.

I'd also point out that exercise is also very helpful for body composition (not just weight). Two people at the same weight and height may have very different body composition, which can have a big impact on health and appearance.

Obviously, everyone is different and those numbers are the author’s opinion.
Beehave
Posts: 783
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Beehave »

eli80 wrote: Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:23 am I swam in HS and have done triathlons. The only thing I would add is don't worry about counting laps to get to your mile or whatever distance. Swim for a time period - 30 minutes or whatever. If you want every couple of weeks see what your distance is over the time period.
+1

In general, for walking, running, swimming - - unless you are training for a competition I find it's better to base your exercise on a total time-spent goal rather than a distance goal. The exercise is more relaxing and your body finds its pace and you don't strain and injure yourself to meet some mythical (self-imposed) goal. You also get to experiment and vary things more (because you are not constantly fighting the clock to improve on yesterday's time) which keeps things more interesting. So you walk or run a different path, or you try a swimming stroke you're not so good at and the variation keeps your mind active and different muscles or balance requirements.

Also: I find the backstroke much less exhausting than other strokes. I kick more than I use my arms (so maybe 2 kicks or sometimes more per arm stroke). You still use your arms, and you can use them powerfully, but your legs do lots of work and keep you moving.

I swam a lot when I was younger. I stopped swimming years ago because the indoor pools were too crowded. I changed over to exercycle and rowing machine - and neglected core exercises. Big mistake! Strengthening your upper body and legs and leaving the middle weaker is a prescription for back problems. Now I do Pilates and physical therapy-type core exercises every day in addition to any other exercise - in other words, it takes precedence. I believe that swimming is good core exercise, but in general I'd suggest adding some specific core exercise as well as part of the regime as insurance.
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