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Mon. Jan 1, 12:00am

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I've heard that swimming is one of the best aerobic workouts out there. It burns a lot of calories and does not put stress on your joints! Good luck.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006, 1:48 PM

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Swimming is excellent exercise! You get an aerobic workout, plus the water adds resistance so you get some strenghtening benefits as well. I cannot think of another form of exercise that engages your entire body like swimming does. However - apparently the cooler temps of the water can cause folks to be more hungry after swimming than other forms of exercise. So just be aware of this and either lengthen your workouts or incorporate some strategies for managing it. This is the reason for the 'plump layer' you speak of.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006, 2:10 PM

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I'm not sure about the plump extra layer, but I have a theory: It is actually harder to swim if you have no fat, b/c you don't float naturally (this is true - my skinny fiance sinks in water, he cannot float!) so the people who tend to be swimmers tend to have some fat on them - not b/c the swimming causes it, but because they're the ones who choose swimming! So I wouldn't worry about it. You're getting great exercise, and that's all that's important!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006, 2:26 PM

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not true - about extra fat helping to float - does Michael Phelps have an ounce of fat?

Swimming is great but to reap the same calorie burn from a 30 min swim as say 30 min run is very hard - not many people can swim vigorously non-stop for 30min. That's probably the reason for the extra layer - ppl think they did 30 min cardio - great, now I deserve a burger - not true.

If you swim to lose weight - try breast stroke as it burns more calories than freestyle.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006, 3:15 PM

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Actually, fat is less dense than water, and bone is more dense than water (I'm not sure about muscle). Fat people are more buoyant than skinny/bony people. That doesn't mean that thin people can't swim, but, saying that fat doesn't help you float is just flat out untrue. If you swim like Michael Phelps, though, you're really not worried about being able to float!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006, 5:02 PM

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Freestyle actually burns more calories than breast stroke. The winner of all the strokes is butterfly, but very few people can do it properly, and certainly not for an extended period of time. Michael Phelps doesn't sink because he has proper technique. Anyone with proper body alignment can float in the water, because we are inherently less dense than it.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006, 5:10 PM

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Really heavily muscled people don't have an easy time swimming. I dated a serious bicyclist and his legs were so dense that no amount of kicking would keep his body on the proper plane.

But for the rest of us... ...the one thing swimming does NOT do is load the bones. It is not weight-bearing exercise and so won't help you stave off osteoporotic changes in bone as you age. For this reason, it should never be your only exercise.

Personally, I've found that I put on weight if I swim. For this reason I made a rule for myself: no swimming unless I've already gone for a run that day!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006, 5:27 PM

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Hold on - do you mean you put on weight if you swim *instead* of some other exercise, or do you mean you put on weight if you swim vs. *no* exercise?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006, 5:37 PM

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I'm actually planning on swimming and walking (I am training for the Breast Cancer 3-day)- Do you think that will do it?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006, 6:00 PM

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swimming is great as cross training. Can do great things for your back and shoulders (think spaghetti straps and halters). I find for me however, it's not intense cardio.

Freestyle is definitley the better of the strokes. Absolute total body workout. Legs and arms are obvious, but you also work your abs when you try to keep your body as level as possible on the surface.

It will do it, if you do it right. An improper stroke will affect how effective a work out it is, and if you lazily swim along, your obviously not getting a workout.

Just always remember to wear a cap (preferably NOT a waterproof one) and wash your hair immediately after with a clarifying shampoo- not an average one, but a clarifying one!!!!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006, 11:05 PM

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