Swimming for weight loss: How it works and which stroke burns the most calories

From Red Online

Swimming conjures up images of cool waters, sun-soaked holidays and exciting childhood trips to the local public pool.

But on top of being relaxing, fun and approachable, swimming is actually incredibly good for weight loss, burning hundreds of calories while putting very little stress on your body.

In fact, (depending on your weight and how hard you try) you can burn up to 550 calories in a half-hour session alone, more than pounding a treadmill or taking a spin class.

Swimming is high impact, using countless of muscles in your body, and forcing your heart and lungs to work overtime – resulting in a great cardio workout.

Photo credit: Luis Alvarez - Getty Images
Photo credit: Luis Alvarez - Getty Images

On top of having lanes open for solo swimming sessions, most public pools will offer aqua-aerobics sessions, which are designed to specifically help you lose weight and tone while in the water.

Best strokes for weight loss

Butterfly, breaststroke, front crawl and backstroke, swimming has a plethora of strokes to choose from, but which one burns the most calories?

According to Swimming.org, butterfly is the top of the calorie-burn list, burning around 450 calories per 30 minutes of swimming.

While its the hardest to learn, butterfly works all muscles in your body, providing a intense workout and giving streamlines, toned results.

Photo credit: Emir Memedovski - Getty Images
Photo credit: Emir Memedovski - Getty Images

Coming in second is freestyle, which is the fastest of all the strokes. Freestyle is said to have the greatest impact on toning back muscles, and can also tone your stomach, butt and shoulders. It also burns around 300 calories per hour – win!

While backstroke only burns around 250 calories per half hour, it is one of the best methods for improving posture, according to Swimming.org.

So, give your local pool a visit and turn your favourite holiday past-time into an fat-burning workout.

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