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Calories Burned Swimming Laps

An enjoyable and effective way to get your body in shape, swimming can help you tone up, stay energized and feel relaxed. It is a great way to exercise all the major muscles in your body. Swimming laps is a cardiovascular workout as well, and the calories burned swimming laps can range between 500 to 630 calories per hour. This, however, depends on how fast you swim and how much you weigh.

Different types of swimming strokes work out different muscles in the body, especially the arms, back, and shoulders. For example, the breaststroke uses the muscles in your chest and back, while the crawl works out your arms and lateral muscles.

Swimming laps freestyle is a popular choice amongst beginners and professionals alike. Freestyle swimming, works all muscles in your upper and lower body. Proper technique requires core strength and hence your abdominal muscles are worked out as well. Calories burned swimming laps freestyle can be as much as 500 per hour.

Work Your Way Up

The resistance of the water in the pool along with its cooling effect makes swimming an ideal exercise for those looking for a low-impact routine with all the cardiovascular benefits of a full-blown gym workout. Swimming may tire you out but will never leave you worn out and unable to function the next day.

You can increase the efficiency of burning calories swimming laps per hour by opting for either speed laps or endurance swimming. In the first, you engage in high intensity bursts of swimming and time the duration taken to complete a certain number of laps before taking a break. Endurance swimming involves a slow and steady pace of exercise for a set period of time. Both are effective calorie burners, though studies now show that high intensity exercise combined with several small breaks burn more fat than any other type of exercise combination. You can also alternate strokes to ensure that all parts of the body are worked out. This also helps lessen overuse of any one muscle group and prevents injuries.

Swimming Laps Health Benefits

The health benefits of swimming laps are numerous. Swimming on a regular basis helps build stamina and endurance, and strengthens the heart and lungs. There is very little strain on the joints during swimming, making it an ideal activity for beginners and people who are very obese. Swimming is also an extremely calming activity. Studies show that being in water relaxes you in no time. Blood pressure can stabilize as a result and the mind can meditate without distraction. There is a repetitive nature to swimming laps that barely requires much co-ordination after a while. Swimming also helps build life skills such as time management, discipline and this can improve your self-esteem.

Lose Weight

Some people are of the opinion that swimming is not a good way to lose weight. Contrarily swimming laps is an excellent way to lose weight and burn fat, as long as it is over a sustained period of time and done consistently. The only thing to look out for when swimming to lose weight is that it tends to make you hungrier. Care should be taken to not overeat or indulge in high-fat snacks to prevent putting on weight.


Swimming laps is a form of aerobic exercise that works out all the muscles in the body and strengthens the cardio vascular system. Using the water’s natural resistance, you expend more energy and burn more calories in a safe and controlled manner.


Swimming laps is the best for cardio as it raises your pulse rate and builds stamina and endurance. The cardiovascular benefits of swimming also help lower cholesterol and reduce blood pressure. In addition to this, swimming like all other types of exercise release mood-lifting endorphins and improve energy levels.

Swimming Laps Safety Tips

Swimming laps for weight loss and exercise requires some basic equipment. A one-piece swimsuit for women and well-fitting trunks for men are the best solutions on what to wear. Do not choose a swimsuit with too many embellishments and extra material. This will drag you down in the water and slow your pace. You will also need a pair of swimming goggles and ear or nose plugs if required. A swimming cap will protect your hair against the chlorine in the pool water.

When planning on what to eat before and after a swimming workout, opt for a light snack such as a piece of fruit or a nutrition bar. It is best to avoid a heavy meal before swimming, as this can cause cramps. Post workout, make sure you choose healthy alternatives to snack on, such as a meal consisting of carbs and protein.

Submitted on January 16, 2014