Does the pool make you lose weight? | All About Swimming and Aqua Fitness

By healthiergang writer , swimming instructor and student in sports science.

Does the pool make you lose weight?

Swimming and water activities can become useful ally for our weight loss program?

All year or only in anticipation of the so infamous and feared "costume test"?

Of course. Swimming and fitness in water are cardiovascular activities that can promote weight loss understood as loss of fat mass, toning, drainage action of excess fluids, aesthetic improvement of cellulite blemishes and a sense of well-being and general lightness.

For those who do not have a good relationship with swimming, it is advisable to participate in water fitness classes (water aerobics, hydrobike or treadmill in the water) certainly more fun and stimulating.

For those who are already a swimmer, add some training sessions in the pool, with targeted programs and gradually more performing, to other sports activities it helps to increase the level of fitness and improve general cardiovascular capacity. Let's see now how to do it. Are you ready with cap & goggles?

The Benefits of Water Activities

Due to its physical properties, water has a higher density than air. It also owns cohesive and adhesive properties. As a result, movement in the water appears more difficult and we feel fatigue even just walking. Try walking or running in a lane of your pool, or think about walking in shallow water by the sea.

Starting from this assumption, it follows that every physical and sporting activity in the water requires a certain energy expenditure, quite particular compared to other terrestrial activities.

One of the first noticeable benefits after a few sessions in the pool is a widespread sense of lightness and decreased swelling in the lower limbs. This is the consequence of the water massage and the absence of gravity which act in favor of microcirculation, favoring venous return. In addition to a loss of fluids that otherwise stagnate causing blemishes and, in the most serious cases, cellulite.

When the sporting commitment becomes more intense, the swimming and fitness tone the skeletal muscles, causing an increase in lean mass at the expense of fat. As in dominoes, the cascading effects are manifold: greater lean mass means increased metabolism, that is it continues to "burn" even after finishing the training session. At more targeted swimming training levels the Supercompensation mechanism is triggered.

Finally, the activity in the pool is also useful and beneficial for all those who have to face a period of rehabilitation to move safely without burdening the joints.

Swimming: Types of Work

Assuming that you have a good basic swimming technique, swimming lessons and training regularly attended for a fairly long period of time damage sure benefits for weight loss and improvement of the cardiovascular system.

There are different types of training. The aerobic work cardiovascular provides long and continuous training sessions with repetitions over medium to long distances (from 50 m to 200 m) with an intensity of 70% -80% of the FcMax. This type of jobs do not have long paybacks as the work intensity is low. The swimmer is expected to maintain a steady swim pace with no bpm peaks.

Il threshold or suprathreshold anaerobic work instead it provides training sessions with series of repetitions over short distances (from 25 m to 100 m), high intensity swims (max speed) with long recoveries between one repetition and another. This type of work also reaches 90% of the FcMax.

For each type of work listed above, the relative energy substrate comes into play. During aerobic work, the substrate used is precisely the aerobic system, i.e. aerobic glycolysis in which sugars are mainly used at the beginning, then, later on, fats are also used. In anaerobic work, on the other hand, glycogen (sugars) is mainly used.

In conclusion, to promote the loss of superfluous weight (fat mass) the swimming training pace is preferable at moderate intensity but for a long time.


For fitness in the water, no specific technical knowledge is required as for swimming. Water fitness can be practiced with small and large tools (as well as free body) whose use is immediate learning. So .. room for fun!

Water aerobics uses free body movements by exploiting the friction and greater density of water to make us struggle. The training takes place in sequences of movements that they aim at toning all muscle groups, both lower and higher. The use of small tools such as anklets, maxi tubes, "gloves" and everything that the imagination recommends, increases the variety of work and its effectiveness.

The hydrobike and the treadmill are the great tools. L'Hydrobike (of which there are various models and interpretations) simulates the work of spinning © in water. The adjustment of the difficulty of the tool is based on plastic "cups" which, placed on levers fixed to the bottom bracket, can be lowered or raised by the user: the higher the height on the lever, the greater the amount of water the cup will catch increasing the pedaling resistance.

Il Treadmill instead it is nothing more than the treadmill brought into the water (obviously it's all mechanical, there are no electrical parts!). The carpet moves only thanks to our walk, and the rough surface massages the soles of the feet with a pleasant "scrub" effect.

Both with children and with large tools, fitness is aimed at a total body work, toning and lymphatic drainage. More similar work protocols apply to the world of terrestrial fitness, such as PHA, TBW, Tabata etc. Consistency in training sessions certainly bring the desired effects: decrease in fat mass, decrease in waist circumference, hips and thighs, reduction of cellulite blemishes and a widespread sense of well-being.


Activity in the pool can become a precious ally in our path towards a healthy lifestyle based on movement. Contact your local swimming pools, you will see how many activities they have in store for you, especially now that summer is approaching! Go and try them, they will not disappoint you! Your main goal should be to get active while having fun and being comfortable with yourself and others.

And involve - why not? - the whole family! What better moment of sharing can be to attend the pool with courses, fitness activities ... and maybe launch new challenges between mum, dad and kids!

Physical activity in the water is good for everyone, as it allows us to do something for ourselves. And from there we also move on to other aspects of our body's health, such as nutrition. Getting tired in the pool, maybe every day, and then "rewarding" yourself with abundant rations of pasta or ice cream or biscuits or fries is absolutely useless. Adopting a healthy lifestyle starts from movement but passes through the kitchen.

The arrival of heat and summer invites us to move, even in the water. So I wait for you in the pool?

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