Shruti Haasan keeps her body svelte and toned, thanks to a mix of clean eating, positive thinking and exercise! The actor has been spotted swimming recently, and posted this photo on Instagram showing off her newest fitness activity. We take a look at why swimming is good for weight loss and muscle building, and what strokes to use.
Swimming is a cardiovascular exercise that works out the entire body, and makes it easy to do so, since you are less ‘weighty’ while in water. Swimming works well on all body parts, since it is an all-round exercise, and what’s more, it doesn’t put any pressure on the joints. So if you’ve got aches, pains and other arthritis-related complaints that prevent you from getting exercise otherwise, swimming just might be the way to go.
The butterfly maybe the hardest stroke, but it’s also the most effective, and you could burn as many as 450 calories during a half-hour swim. It improves posture, flexibility, core strength, upper body strength, and tones your body all-round. The second most effective stroke is the easiest – freestyle. This is great for people with bad backs, as it strengthens back muscles as well as the glutes. Just 10 minutes of freestyle can burn off a 100 calories.
Backstroke and breast stroke are not as effective for weight loss as the butterfly and freestyle, but they’re not without benefits. Breaststroke strengthens the heart, lungs, improves breathing and tones the chest muscles, while backstroke can do wonders for your spine and hip strength. Swimming on the whole, develops strength and endurance, since you’re using your body in ways you’d never be able to when you’re not in water. Even just walking around in the pool can have numerous weight loss and health benefits, if you’re not a serious swimmer.
As wonderful as it is, you do need to keep a few pointers in mind while swimming. Avoid large meals for at least two hours prior to swimming, or you may suddenly find yourself with cramps and needing help. Always take a warm shower before and after you step into the chlorinated pool, to prep your body for the water, and also protect it from the chlorine. Make sure there is a lifeguard around, even if you’re a great swimmer. Keep a bottle of water handy at the edge of the pool, and take sips every 10 minutes or so to keep your body hydrated.