Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Good And "Bad" Of Swimming

Picture by RichSeow @ flickr.com
In many ways, swimming has the benefits of most land based aerobic exercises like running, walking, cycling etc. Swimming has been also found to effectively improve cardiovascular fitness and muscle mass while also effectively reducing blood pressure.

Since swimming is done in water, it cools you down and there is a lot less impact compared to land-based exercises and heat related illnesses. Chances of  injuries are also much lower. This is the main reason why our athletes/ patients can do rehab almost straight after surgery while maintaining their fitness levels.

Despite all its advantages, here's one real drawback regarding swimming. It seems to make you eat more! At least that's what the researchers found.

Researchers found that swimming (whilst beneficial in improving cardiovascular fitness) is not particularly effective at promoting weight loss. In fact, those who swam (compared to those who brisk walked, jogged or cycled) tended to put on weight. (There were more than 15 000 adults studied over a decade).

I'm always starving after I swim. Now I know why I feel like I can eat a horse after swimming. Please share your views.


Tanaka H (2009). Swimming Exercise: Impact Of Aquatic Exercise On Cardiovascular Health. Sports Med. 39(5): 377-387.

Littman AJ et al (2005) Effects Of Physical Activity Intensity, Frequency, And Activity Type On 10-year Weight Change In Middle-aged Men and Women. Int J of Obesity. 29: 524-533.

1 comment:

  1. Good article Gino and something we've also found in our lab. To burn fat effectively, you need oxygen. When you swim, you tend to hold you breath and therefore burn carbohydrate over fat.