By Jenni Brozena, MS, CSCS, CES
Owner/President of Aqueous
Part 1 of this series explored the effectiveness of swimming for weight loss, and Part 2 reviewed training strategies. Here, we consider practical strategies to build a regular swimming weight-loss regimen.
Work, kids, family, school, LIFE ... There are so many (legitimate) reasons that can intrude on our workout schedule. Yes, there are only so many hours in one day, and some days there simply isn’t time to work out. And no, we should not feel terrible when we miss a day here or there.
Swimming, by nature, takes more time than say, running or living-room aerobics. There’s a bit more prep and unless you swam competitively growing up, most adults aren’t cool with walking through parking lots wrapped in a towel and ready to swim.
As a result, the time involved with changing, pre-showering (per the guidelines that we all follow), and dancing on the edge of the lane prepping for the cold shock of a morning open-swim lane can seem like a barrier.
A Practical Guide to Swimming for Weight Loss
Now that we got that out of the way, here is a practical guide to incorporate swimming for weight loss into your daily routine.
Swimmers have exceptional discipline, so write the word “discipline” everywhere you will see it: smartphone, calendar, sticky note, everywhere. By choosing swimming for weight loss, you’re joining a community, and this community works hard both in and out of the pool.
Swimmers, as a demographic, are internally motivated, high-achieving, and competitively driven. As such, swimmers are typically good students and grow to be committed to their work, families, and workouts.
Six Steps (or just One)
Swimming for weight loss is worth the few downsides. So how can you schedule time to swim and still keep up with the rest of your life? One way is to buy an Endless Pool and avoid all the scheduling issues, but if you don’t do that, try these:
- Pick a pool that has a comfortable locker room with a shower so you can easily transition to the next part of your day. Driving home to shower is a waste of precious minutes.
- Pack your bag the night before. Make sure to include all your shower supplies (just keep a separate stash), an extra cap, and extra goggles (because snapping your only pair makes a bad start to the day).
- If you swim in the morning, have a healthy complex carbohydrate (e.g. oatmeal, whole-grain toast) prior to your swim. It will wake up your metabolism and get your blood sugar ready for exercise.
- Bring an extra snack or breakfast for after your swim. You can eat this at the gym, in your car, wherever. Just remember: it’s all about time conservation.
- Make sure you’re workout is planned ahead. Even the most dedicated swimmer can fail to make the most out of a practice session if they wait until they are in the lane to think about it.
- Build your community. Competitive swimming is both an individual and a team sport. Whether you are swimming for weight loss at home in your Endless Pool, joining a masters team, or doing your own thing at your local gym, reach out to other swimmers and create your own community to increase your commitment.