If you've got access to a swimming pool, either in your backyard or in a nearby community center, you've got more than just a way of splashing around with your kids. For people intent on losing weight, daily swims are an effective way to reach your goal. By swimming or performing other water-based exercises for two hours daily, you'll be well on your way to burning enough calories to experience weight loss.
You'll burn fat to lose weight when you can consistently consume fewer calories than you burn. Doing so typically requires a commitment to regular exercise and smart dietary choices, although if you can swim for two hours per day, this amount of aerobic exercise should be more than enough to help you lose weight. MayoClinic.com notes when you burn 3,500 more calories than you take in, you'll lose 1 pound of fat.
Swimming Calories Burned
Simply spending time in the swimming pool won't burn enough calories to help you lose weight, but if you're serious about building a slimmer body, swimming for two hours daily is an effective way to get results. The stroke you choose plays a role in your rate of burning calories. Numbers from Harvard Medical School predict that a 155-pound person will burn 1,192 calories in two hours of swimming the backstroke, 1,488 calories in two hours of swimming the breaststroke and 1,636 calories in two hours of swimming the front crawl.
Other Water Exercises
If you're not quite able to sustain a two-hour swimming workout daily, don't give up on your goal of losing weight. Other water-based workouts can help you burn hundreds of calories in two hours and might not leave you as fatigued as a swim of the same length. Based on numbers from Harvard Medical School, a 155-pound person will burn 596 calories in two hours of water aerobics and 448 calories in two hours of water volleyball.
Water Sports Benefits
Regardless of how you choose to burn calories in the pool, you'll receive a number of health benefits beyond building a slimmer body. Water-based exercises are ideal for people with joint pain because the water creates buoyancy and limits the impact to your joints. If you have ongoing health conditions such as diabetes, water workouts can alleviate the symptoms. Water exercises are also an ideal way to boost your mood and lessen your level of stress.