Run for Food: Swimming as effective weight loss exercise?

Ever since I had started swimming 3 weeks ago, I had observed my body is responding to the exercise much better than before. This is despite after reading about swimming burns less calories, or how it is less effective than running in achieving weight loss.

Apart from feeling the ache of my body muscles all round after a swim,  versus the feeling of ligament strains after a run, I thought I have become leaner after 3 weeks if daily swim, at least psychologically.

Here’s my reasoning; It is an established fact that exercising burns different source of our body “fuel” (fat, carbohydrates, protein, etc), depending on the zone that our heart is exercising. At aerobic zone, our body burns more calories than exercising at fitness zone, while consuming a more balance percentage of energy source between fat and carbohydrates.  Unless I am on low carbohydrates diet, aerobic zone is the most effective weight loss zone.  Having run for 9 months, I know it is not an easy to keep to aerobic zone throughout the one hour of running, probably due to the loss of body fluid. On the other hand, I noticed that I can keep to the aerobic zone consistently regardless of whether I stick to a 30 mins or 1 hour swimming session.

Back on swimming, I am never been a natural swimmer from the onset. I do not feel comfortable when in the water, even when I could stay a float or swim. For a long while, I would have struggled to complete a 100m  freestyle, let alone a long distance freestyle swim. In the last 3 weeks of swimming, I have been doing one lap of  freestyle with one lap of  breast stroke routine for my swim. The breast stroke is more like a rest stroke for me to catch my breathing before doing the next freestyle lap. But 2.5 weeks of consecutive swimming seems to have paid off.

Me Swimming

On 12th September, I managed to stretch my swimming distance to 2.5km, albeit with the alternate strokes method. Despite four consecutive days of 2km (with one of them being 2.5km) swims, I did not feel any more fatigue, unlike a week ago. While I only completed a 1.5km distance on the 5th swim day (I had originally planned for a 1km swim) I actually completed a 40 continuous laps (or 1km) of freestyle swim. It is simply amazing that after 40 years, I have finally achieved this feat.

With all said, I figure that I should try and improve my strokes so that I can breathe on the alternate sides. That would probably be my next goal while continuing to stretch my freestyle swimming distance. In the meantime, I am looking forward for my next run (target to be a week later), as I am confident that 4 weeks of daily swimming should bring some positive impact to my running sessions.

Exercise Statistics Dashboard (as of 14th September 2012)

 Activity Type  Activity Counts  Activity Distance (km)
 Running  120  862.12
 Cycling  8  220.5
 Swimming  11  26.1
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Run for Food: 9 months of “labour”

Counting back, it has been almost 9 months since I started taking the first step to re-exercise my heart. The momentum to stay fit continues with new addition forms of exercising, including the recent swimming regiment. Statistically, I have shaved to a near 15kg and trimmed 7 inches of waistline. I have thought I would achieve more than that, but I guess my passion for sinful food has kept me honest. I have no complains though, because I think its such foods that have kept me going, ironically. Incidentally, I have started another blog, irun4food recently, to blog about the yummy calories hoggers that I cannot resist to.

Beyond statistics, I do feel much healthier. I have hardly fallen sick since I started my exercise regiment, and when I did, I recovered within a day or two. It could also be attributed to the adoption of a more sane working hours, as I recently moved from a worldwide to region role. Beside feeling healthier, I do feel more confident with a leaner body. It has been an amazing journey, to say the least.

For two weeks I have not been running due to the recent foot injury. The daily swimming not only helps to tone my body muscles, it also serves as a physiotherapy to my strained feet and knees. As a matter of fact, i thought swimming is a good fat burning exercisr but only if you have achieved a certain level of fitness and maintain the needex discipline.

Yesterday I decided to try a light run to see how my legs respond to the therapy. There was less strain felt on both feet, probably even lesser than before my foot injury. I did feel a sense of tightness on my right knee cap. While my feet and knees looked like they had lubricated after 1.5km, I was still uneasy for every foot landing, and could anticipate a relapse if I mis-step again. I had started with just a 60 min light jog in mind, but ended with a 10km jog with a comfortable time of 1 hr 14 min. That said, I thought the “swim-o-therapy” will need to continue, and would probably go easy with running, perhaps with just a 5km run a week.

Till now, I have completed 862.12km, 120 running activities, together with 11 swimming activities covering a distance of 16.1km. I do need to reinstate my cycling regiment though, so that’ll be something to work on next.

Run for Food: 10 kg off, 4″ gone, Mee Pok stays

new record!

3 months of workout, finally breaks the 85 mark, lost more than 4 inches, and 10 kg of body mass. Considering that I have not changed my diet plan (ok, I do take a more “normal” in-take these days, but still, I love all the mee poks and or-luas and can’t live without them), I think it’s a great progress, isn’t it?