How to get fit with swimming…FAST

How to get fit with swimming…FAST

Many people swim in high school or college- so it is what they naturally turn to when, later in life, they decide to get back into the fitness game. Others have a knee or ankle injury that makes them lean towards a sport that is gentle on the joints. What is the optimal way to swim to get that fitness back? If you just swim leisurely for 30 minutes it’s the equivalent of walking for 30 minutes while holding a conversation.  Not really going to do much where fitness and/or weight loss are concerned. Also, if you’re only in it for the calories burned, not worth the trip to the pool.



So why swim for fitness and cardiovascular health?


It has been scientifically proven that swimmers live longer, on average, than athletes who train in high impact sports. Why? Because swimming has one of the lowest impacts on your joints. It doesn’t
create a lot of wear and tear on your joints the way running and other impact sport do. So swimmers don’t have to have knee surgery when they are 60 like so many athletes do.



Instead, go in with a plan. In order to get fit through any activity you have to get your heart rate up. Something that is much more beneficial than leisurely swimming is a set workout that challenges your swimming and cardiovascular levels. An example would be doing 30- 25 meter/yards swims on 1 minute. As your lungs and muscles grow accustomed to swimming, you can lower the time interval to 50 secs and so on to keep challenge yourself. You can also use Eat.Sleep.Swim’s weekly training posts to find new workouts and improve your fitness.

Michael Phelps

Swimming also works all the muscles in the body. It helps to tone your arms, legs, and mid section all at once. This is one of the reasons it helps people lose weight quickly. It builds arm, core, and leg muscle with each workout- raising you metabolism and the increasing the number of calories your body burns when it isn’t even working!

There is a very low risk of injury in swimming. This means less time off to rest knees and ankles that are hurting. It also means that, if you wish to build muscle, you can swim fast without straining your muscles and joints. Less time off and building muscle without straining your body both result in getting in shape faster.

Injuries, though rare, are almost always a product of faulty technique. I have posted how to swim freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly correctly so you won’t have this problem. Please leave your comment below if you need feedback and tell me what you would like me to talk about in my next post. I’ll be happy to get back to you!


The Zone Diet


  1. Jyl

    Swimming is definitely an excellent way to get, and stay, fit. As you say in your post, it uses all the muscles in the body and as there is no running or jumping involved, it is so much easier on the joints than impact sports such as sprinting or even jogging. It’s suitable for all ages – one of the few sports that is – and it’s a sport that doesn’t break the bank when you’re getting kitted out for it 🙂 Great post, thanks 🙂

  2. Wil

    I really like swimming as an exercise routine. I used to swim a lot when I lived at my old house. We had a pool and did a lot of aquatic aerobics and just playing around. I love the fact that it’s low impact on your joints and muscles. I still would stretch before swimming, but for the most part it was always an ease into it in which there wouldn’t be a tear or anything.

  3. Summerly

    I love to swim! I don’t go as often now as I used to when I was younger, which is sad. I never have gone swimming either for the exercise aspect of it, I just always go for fun. I do hear that it is a great way to stay in shape though and I think it would be something I would like to do as an exercise routine. I hate to run but swimming could be an alternative!

  4. Chris

    I used to be a regular jogger but I’m afraid my knees have fallen to the impact these days – I was recommended swimming instead!
    My question is this – what stroke would actually burn the most calories? Surely something as simple as breast stroke will not be as effective as butterfly?

    1. Caryle Blondell

      That is true, however, both those strokes you mentioned, breaststroke and butterfly, require a lot of technical skill to get any type of cardio from it without injury. I recommend doing freestyle or backstroke for a good cardio workout. This is what professional swimmers do to get a good cardio and minimize injury. I think you can benefit from this as well until you are confident that you can swim butterfly and breaststroke properly without getting injured.

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