Swimming to Maintain Body Composition
Physical activity is essential in improving health and quality of life and it plays a crucial role in maintaining a balance between energy consumption and expenditure. Additionally, it is associated with a positive impact on cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine, and respiratory physiological functions. Furthermore, it improves body composition by maintaining lean body mass(Willoughby, Hewlings, & Kalman, 2018). Interventional studies have shown a dose-response relationship between physical activities and body composition (Wewege et al., 2017). According to Shephard (2018), the choice of physical activity, including its intensity and duration, has a direct impact on improving or maintaining my body composition.
Swimming activities will help me achieve my ideal body composition. My goal is to reduce my body weight by 10 kilograms within two weeks and sustain a normal body mass index (BMI/kgs) of between 18.5 to 24.5. To achieve this, my goal is to increase positive energy balance alongside dietary modification because physical activities alone are not sufficient in improving body composition (Wewege et al., 2017). Furthermore, physical activity of moderate intensity and of minimum 30 minutes duration is considered ideal in improving physiological function. Besides my daily routine of walking for 30 minutes a day, swimming is my choice for physical activity and my plan is to have at least three swimming sessions a week.
Swimming is significant for me due to its health-related benefits. First, compared to walking, swimming reduces weight within a shorter duration and maintains fitness for 12 months ( Connolly et al., 2016). According to a research study done among participants in a swimming program, it was found that swimming is also significant in reducing the body fat rate and thereby essential in achieving ideal body composition(Lee & Oh, 2015). Beyond reducing body fat rate, the study reported significant improvement in cardiovascular function, and an increasing level of good cholesterol in the blood, thereby reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disorders like hypertension, atherosclerosis, and hyperlipidemia.
For effective swimming activity, I will adopt an individual behavioral management approach. This approach is derived from relapse prevention and has been used in several interventional studies (Shephard, 2018). My swimming plan entails three to four sessions a week. Each session will take a minimum of 40 minutes, and will include freestyle kick, backstroke kicks, and horizontal styles. The swimming plan will adopt a moderate plan that will increase in intensity over the duration of time so as to avoid injuries related to sudden intense physical activity. The consensus among health professionals and exercise experts is that for any physical activity to improve health, it must not be vigorous ( Shephard, 2018). A common risk associated with sudden intense physical activity is musculoskeletal injuries.
To maintain an effective swimming schedule and reinforce it as part of my routine physical activities, there is a need to adopt some changes. First, I will join a swimming support group for social support. The support group will give me both physical and emotional support during my swimming sessions. Additionally, I will reach out to my friends who are interested in swimming to join me. Secondly, besides swimming, dietary modification is essential for maintaining my body composition. I plan to adopt a high-fiber diet and only consume food with low fat and calorie content. This will ensure sustained energy consumption and expenditure balance, and as a result, a maintained body composition. Lastly, self-monitoring is a key strategy and as such, I am developing an individualized swimming plan
Connolly, L. J., Nordsborg, N. B., Nyberg, M., Weihe, P., Krustrup, P., & Mohr, M. (2016). Low-volume high-intensity swim training is superior to high-volume low-intensity training in relation to insulin sensitivity and glucose control in inactive middle-aged women. European journal of applied physiology, 116(10), 1889-1897.
Lee, B.-A., & Oh, D.-J. (2015). Effect of regular swimming exercise on the physical composition, strength, and blood lipid of middle-aged women. Journal of exercise rehabilitation, 11(5), 266.
Shephard, R. J. (2018). Exercise as Medicine in Antiquity and Today. In A History of Health & Fitness: Implications for Policy Today (pp. 481-488). Springer, Cham.
Wewege, M., Van Den Berg, R., Ward, R. E., & Keech, A. (2017). The effects of high‐intensity interval training vs. moderate‐intensity continuous training on body composition in overweight and obese adults: a systematic review and meta‐analysis. Obesity Reviews, 18(6), 635-646.
Willoughby, D., Hewlings, S., & Kalman, D. (2018). Body composition changes in weight loss: strategies and supplementation for maintaining lean body mass, a brief review. Nutrients, 10(12), 1876.