Can You Lose Body Fat From Swimming?

Female swimmer in United States swimsuit swimming pool
Reduced body fat is just one of swimming's many benefits. (Image: IPGGutenbergUKLtd/iStock/Getty Images)

Swimming remains one of the best go-to exercises for people looking to lose body fat. You can burn more than 800 calories, depending on your body weight, in an hour of vigorous lap swimming. If you're watching your diet, too, that can work out to losing more than a pound of body fat per week. But that's not the only reason swimming is such a great workout for anyone looking to lose body fat.

Get Into the Flow

Once you're in the pool, the water supports your joints and generally allows a wider range of motion with less pain or discomfort. Such support can be particularly important if you're overweight, have injuries, or otherwise cannot tolerate the repeated pounding of working out on dry land. The water effectively reduces your body weight by 90 percent, greatly reducing your risk of being injured or sore after your swimming workout.

And Feel the Burn

At the same time it's supporting you, the pool water also offers resistance against your every move. That's one of the reasons swimming burns so many calories. The other is that it works your entire body at once. The more -- and larger -- muscles you work at once, the more calories you burn. One final bonus to go with that fat loss: Swimming also builds whole-body muscular endurance while also strengthening your heart.

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