So, according to my…

So, according to my stated routine, I should now drink a cup of tea, write 3000 words, go to the gym, and then goof off for the rest of the day. But a) I'm incredibly sore from a slightly excessive workout at the gym yesterday (but oh, fun, swimming!), and b) they were sold out of Potter, but I found a copy of the newest McCaffrey, The Skies of Pern, which I had trouble putting down yesterday despite desperately needing sleep, and I'm going to go read it now, so there. Which might just mean that I'd get writing done later, except that I'm supposed to pick a friend up at the airport today, and then we'll hang out here, and then some people are coming over for dinner, so I do need to spend at least half an hour cleaning up, and then grocery shop and do some cooking before she arrives, so if I don't write now, I won't write at all today. But you know something -- that's okay. I can live with that. Anne McCaffrey's Dragonsinger is one of my top five favorite YA books, so I figure this is just good research. If I can do a little of what she does, I'll be happy.

Hey -- do any of you know anything about swimming as exercise? I.e., if I do a lazy backstroke for 25 ft, then how many calories does that burn. Hmm...it also just occurred to me -- is a lap defined as going from one end to the other, or going from one end to the other and then back? Because he said it was a 25 ft. lap pool. I *think* it was 25 ft. from one end to the other, but y'know, I wasn't paying so much attention out of the water, and I have no sense of distance in the water. No, it must have been. No way it could have been just 12.5 -- that would be ridiculous...

4 thoughts on “So, according to my…”

  1. There are a lot of variables to this, but doing a relatively leisurely backstroke probably burns between 300 and 400 calories per hour. A vigorous crawl or butterfly might double that.

    Regardless of the actual numbers, I will say that a regular regimen of swimming was the best exercise program I’ve ever been on, both in terms of weight loss and generally feeling good and having more energy. That may be less because of any intrinsic virtue of swimming, and more because I enjoy it, so I do more of it.

    A lap is from one end to the other, and then back, but the phrase “25 ft. lap pool” should be parsed as “a lap pool (i.e. a pool set up with lanes to do laps in) that is 25 feet long” not “a pool in which laps are 25 feet”.

  2. Hmmm, when I was on a swim team, a lap was from one end to other — when you went back, that was another lap. Perhaps the terminology has changed since the 70s!

  3. This received wisdom may have changed, because it does, but in the years when I was a fitness instructor, it was said that while swimming was excellent exercise and would improve one’s fitness level, it wouldn’t do much for fat loss. Seems to have something to do with your body recognizing that you’re working out in a relatively chilly medium, and so conserving fat to keep your organs warm. Is that still what they say? And too besides, you may not be exercising for fat loss, so it might not matter.

  4. I have a whole pile of fitness goals: lose 15-25 pounds by the end of the summer so my doctor will be happier with me; increase my cardiovascular fitness so I don’t get out of breath running down the block; make my arms stronger so I’m not such a wimpy girl; and generally get nice and toned so I can wear skimpy little summer dresses and make the boys (and girls) drool. 🙂 They’re of varying importance — if I lose 15 pounds I’ll be delighted, but I’ll be content with losing 5 (basically getting back to what I was before all the pizza and pringles of exam-studying :-).

    I think the plan right now is to keep doing what I’m doing, and just increase the times on all of them. So right now, it’s about fifteen minutes on the elliptical machine, at the cardio fitness speed, then fifteen minutes working arm weights, then fifteen minutes swimming, all at least every other day. If I can keep that up, great — if I can increase the times, even better. We’ll see how it goes — thanks for the advice, y’all.

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