Monday, February 15, 2010
Swimming has a soft spot in my heart. Whenever someone asks me how they can lose weight, I suggest swimming. As an obese person who had a lot of body pains, I wasn't really about to start up a running program. Going from the couch to running was not going to be a healthy or safe thing for me to do.
I previous spoke about Curves (a woman's only gym) which is okay if you're uncomfortable working out with men. There's also the option of going to a gym (like Bally's or 24 Hour Fitness). Some people are too embarrassed to go to them gym when they are fat though.
Many people gasp at the idea of getting into a swim suit and parading in front of strangers at a pool. I didn't really have that problem. I knew as soon as I got INTO the pool, no one would see my fat stomach. Not only that, I've always loved swimming. I knew I had to pick an activity I enjoyed if I wanted to stick with it.
When you're fat, your body hurts. It's not built to carry around excessive weight. Getting into a pool, you're weightless. There's no strain on your joints.
Swimming is known as THE best exercise. It's fantastic cardio. It increases flexibility, stamina, and is practically injury-free. An article I read stated, "It is perfect for those people who have a hard time carrying out weight-bearing, land-based physical activities. This is because your weight in water is about 1/10 of your weight on land."
When I first started swimming to lose weight, I was slow. I had to stop after every lap, rest, get my heart rate down, and catch my breath. That's OK! Not everyone is going to immediately be Michael Phelps. Grab a kick board and just concentrate on kicking your feet only. When you're comfortable, try the breast stroke. In my opinion it's a lot easier to do the breast stroke than freestyle.
If you're new to swimming, I suggest taking a class or lessons. They have adult lessons everywhere. Here is a website about adults learning to swim: http://ruthkazez.com/AdultLearner.html
Swimming should be fun. If you don't like it, try a different sport. But I love swimming!