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Can You Lose Belly Fat by Swimming?

Rising obesity levels have made more people aware of the need to reduce their weight.  The corresponding increase in diabetes cases throughout the population has focused on the need to target belly fat.  Belly fat, also known as visceral fat, has been shown to be more dangerous than fat that accumulates in other parts of the body because of its inflammatory effects on the vital organs found in that area.  Poor liver, kidney and intestine functioning can cause insulin resistance which can lead to diabetes.  The swimming enthusiast might wonder, “Can you lose belly fat by swimming?”  The answer is that any type of exercise is a good start in the battle against visceral fat.  A focused swimming workout can have a positive effect on both body weight and belly fat levels.

Swim Spas and Weight Loss

Compared with full sized swimming pools, swim spas are more consistently used for exercise.  For this reason, a workout program designed for the swim spa can be a great way to reduce body weight and belly fat accumulation.  And although it’s been found that exercise can’t be used to target fat loss from specific body parts, increasing the amount of calories expended while reducing the amount of calories taken in will lead to overall weight loss and the burning of fat.  Here are some tips on how your swim spa can help.

Pre-Workout Warm Up

Warming up before you start your workout will not only reduce the chance of injury, it will give your muscles a rousing dose of blood, oxygen and nutrients.  It will also prevent the buildup of painful lactic acid.  Before you actually get into your swim spa you should spend some time on dry land performing some stretches and blood pumping aerobics.  When you’re ready to hit the water, perform a moderate paced stroke for 10 to 15 minutes to get your body primed for higher intensity exercise.

The Fat Burning Zone

To burn the greatest amount of fat, you need to get your heart rate into what’s known as the fat burning zone.  This is typically done by raising your heart rate to 60 to 70% of your maximum heart rate.  To calculate your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from the number 220.  Program your swim spa to the appropriate level to keep yourself in the fat burning zone for at least 15 minutes.  As you become accustomed to your workout you can increase the duration of your exercise as well as the proportion of your maximum heart rate.

Swimming Technique

Paying attention to your technique can help build muscle in specific areas while increasing the efficiency of your fat burning exercises.  Your swim spa allows you to hold your body in positions that wouldn’t be possible on land, so it’s possible to use this to your advantage when it comes to targeting the stomach.  Pay attention to your belly while swimming.  If you’re swimming face down, make sure to hold your belly in using your stomach muscles.  If you’re doing the backstroke, keep your hips elevated and your stomach muscles tight.  Focusing on your technique can improve the effectiveness of your workout. 

Exercise Equipment

There are a number of aquatic exercise tools that can help with your mission to reduce belly fat.  Kickboards or flutter boards are often used by competitive swimmers to isolate muscles and hone their technique.  By focusing on the lower half of the body, these tools can challenge both your stomach muscles and your overall cardiovascular fitness.  Similarly, weight belts and water resistance tools can increase the amount of effort required to maintain pace in your swim spa.  If you’ve plateaued with regular swimming, adding some exercise equipment to your workout can increase your challenge.

To learn more about swim spas and weight loss, download a free buyer’s guide today.