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elise526
October 17th, 2008, 12:20 AM
I have determined that when I swim, based on my heart rate, I am burning an enormous amount of calories. The other day, I wore my HR monitor and based on my average HR, time spent swimming, and my weight, I burned 1053 calories. Now, the next day, I ran for 40 minutes and burned 453 calories.

I have noticed that when I just swim over a number of weeks, my LDL cholesterol readings go up and my body fat goes up as well. When I just run and don't burn as many calories (according to my HR monitor) my LDL drops, my HDLs go up, and my body fat decreases. I've noticed this now over the course of 13 years.

Anybody know of any studies out there that might explain this? Why would an activity such as swimming that obviously burns a bunch of calories cause an increase in body fat?

FlyQueen
October 17th, 2008, 12:25 AM
[QUOTE=elise526;157008]I have determined that when I swim, based on my heart rate, I am burning an enormous amount of calories. The other day, I wore my HR monitor and based on my average HR, time spent swimming, and my weight, I burned 1053 calories. Now, the next day, I ran for 40 minutes and burned 453 calories.

I have noticed that when I just swim over a number of weeks, my LDL cholesterol readings go up and my body fat goes up as well. When I just run and don't burn as many calories (according to my HR monitor) my LDL drops, my HDLs go up, and my body fat decreases. I've noticed this now over the course of 13 years.

Anybody know of any studies out there that might explain this? Why would an activity such as swimming that obviously burns a b


Water temperature. Your body has to work harder to keep itself warm. Being immersed in 80 degree water is no where near the same as running in 80 degree weather. Your body is protecting itself. Just my guess ....

james lucas
October 17th, 2008, 01:53 AM
I have several heart-rate monitors, and I think they are great tools that really help with training. But I don't think anyone should take seriously the "calories burned" calculation. My opinion is that this calculation is based on a formula that's entirely arbitrary, that can't possibly be right from one individual to the next or from one exercise method to the next and, in any case, probably isn't meaningful.

Lump
October 17th, 2008, 09:37 AM
I have several heart-rate monitors, and I think they are great tools that really help with training. But I don't think anyone should take seriously the "calories burned" calculation. My opinion is that this calculation is based on a formula that's entirely arbitrary, that can't possibly be right from one individual to the next or from one exercise method to the next and, in any case, probably isn't meaningful.

+1

daveindc
October 17th, 2008, 09:50 AM
I have a hard time believing swimming would raise your LDLs. Are there any research articles on this?

Lump
October 17th, 2008, 09:54 AM
I have a hard time believing swimming would raise your LDLs. Are there any research articles on this?

This would be based on his diet. Who knows, if he's swimming and buring more calories he may be eating more/different than when he runs? Just speculation.

Mary1912
October 17th, 2008, 09:58 AM
Here is a great article that debunks the "research" that points toward swimming not being an effective weight loss exercise. I keep this puppy bookmarked because the myth is out there that swimming won't help you lose weight.

There is the theory out there that the coolness of the water makes your body hang on to fat. But then you read other weight loss articles that say to do silly things like turn down your thermostat or drink cold water because it makes your body work harder to keep warm and you will burn more calories. So which is it? :dunno:

I think you would have to take readings over the course of a longer period of time to measure HDL and LDL levels and you'd have to control for diet as well. The change would have to be statistically significant and correllate with the exercise/diet to see if there is any possible connection. Likewise, body fat would have to be accurately measured in the same fashion. Kind of a complex thing.

http://runningdoctor.runnersworld.com/2008/07/does-swimming-c.html

hofffam
October 17th, 2008, 10:23 AM
How are you testing cholesterol so often? Are you fasting properly before the tests? If not I think the testing is completely irrelevent.

I have read several studies that show swimming produces lower maximum heart rates compared to running or cycling for similar perceived effort because the water cools the body more effectively. The body produces significant heat during exercise and uses significant energy to cool itself. So the water does the opposite of what Flyqueen posted above.

I easily see the difference in fatigue when the pool water is 80 deg vs. 84 or 86 like my pool sometimes reaches.

quicksilver
October 17th, 2008, 11:21 AM
Why would an activity such as swimming that obviously burns a bunch of calories cause an increase in body fat?

I heard somewhere that swimmers tend to develop a thin layer of insulation under the skin (even the leanest ones).
Granted we do get warm, and can easily overheat, but the water is always cooling us off.

This may explain why some people develop a very thin layer of protective fat.

The Fortress
October 17th, 2008, 11:33 AM
I have determined that when I swim, based on my heart rate, I am burning an enormous amount of calories. The other day, I wore my HR monitor and based on my average HR, time spent swimming, and my weight, I burned 1053 calories. Now, the next day, I ran for 40 minutes and burned 453 calories.

I have noticed that when I just swim over a number of weeks, my LDL cholesterol readings go up and my body fat goes up as well. When I just run and don't burn as many calories (according to my HR monitor) my LDL drops, my HDLs go up, and my body fat decreases. I've noticed this now over the course of 13 years.

Anybody know of any studies out there that might explain this? Why would an activity such as swimming that obviously burns a bunch of calories cause an increase in body fat?

I agree with Elise. Running makes me skinny and swimming makes me fat. Don't think it can all be attributed to diet or age. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

geochuck
October 17th, 2008, 11:33 AM
I have more then a thin layer of fat.

quicksilver
October 17th, 2008, 11:39 AM
I have more then a thin layer of fat.

Because you are part sea lion. :)
Marathon swims in the deep blue isn't for light weights.

moodyrichardson
October 17th, 2008, 12:22 PM
I really think it depends on the individual. All I know is that I lost 45 lbs when I started to swim, and that's all the exercising I did for a while. Now, I run, do weights, and swim.

james lucas
October 17th, 2008, 12:50 PM
Running makes me skinny and swimming makes me fat.
When most of us "run," we tend to go longer distances in the aerobic zone, at or just below our lactate thresholds - and, at this rate and over extended periods, the male or female body generates the necessary energy primarily by burning fat. Some swimmers, in contrast, prefer to blast down the pool at top speeds - their heart rate might not race as high, perhaps, as when they run (in part because they are horizontal and cool, among other factors, and in part also because their sprint workouts include recovery time). In the sprint-paced swims, the body is more likely to draw energy from muscle glycogen rather than fat.

If one were to train on the track only for the 100-meter dash, and if one were to build their aerobic base in the pool - in other words, if one were to reverse their training practices - isn't it likely that the effects would be reversed?

cantwait4bike
October 17th, 2008, 01:08 PM
I agree with Elise. Running makes me skinny and swimming makes me fat. Don't think it can all be attributed to diet or age. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

+1

the good part of this fact is that fat makes us float more and swim faster. the bad part is that you have to run alot more to get rid of the fat.

mjgold
October 17th, 2008, 01:40 PM
I don't think it's a fact that swimming makes you fat, and running makes you skinny. This article (http://lib.bioinfo.pl/pmid:16963833) studied the effects of long term swimming programs on healthy and diabetic girls 14-19 years old.


CONCLUSION: Long-term swimming program improved aerobic capacity, reduced body fat mass in all participants, and reduced high-density lipoprotein levels only in healthy subjects.This article (http://www.jssm.org/vol4/n4/6/v4n4-6text.php#6) in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine studied masters swimmers ages 25-71. It focused on men, but it mentions women a few times that are relevant to this discussion.


In addition, when assessed using body mass index scores, members of this group of swimmer athletes were less likely to be overweight or obese as compared to the average U.S. male (Freid et al., 2003; National Center for Health Statistisc, 2004).

Regional adiposity measurements also suggested that these swimmers were leaner than the average American male. Mean waist circumference was smaller than the National average of 96.3 cm (National Center for Health Statistics, 2004). Subcutaneous fat deposits estimated from skinfold thickness were also smaller (Statistics, 2004).
However, it also mentions that while masters swimmers are less likely to be overweight and are typically leaner than the average Americans, there is a definite relationship between swimming and a larger abdomen:

In these adult male athletes, age was associated with a trend toward greater thickness in the lower abdomen, but not with the amount of weekly swim training distance. A positive relationship between increased abdominal thickness and age was also noted in female masters swimmers (Tuuri et al., 2002).
So, I think it's not so much that you're getting fatter as the fat is moving around.

Redbird Alum
October 17th, 2008, 01:45 PM
Here is a great article that debunks the "research" that points toward swimming not being an effective weight loss exercise.

Mary -

Thanks for this article. It's nice to see someone take a critical review of previous research and find other elements of the experiment that impact results. All too often, the experiment is designed to find what the experimenter wants to find, rather than to simply understand the multiple interaction factors.

elise526
October 17th, 2008, 02:24 PM
I really think there is something to the swimming thing and lipid profile. My doc is a an athlete himself and is a big believer in preventative medicine. I have had physicals done by him for the last 13 years. Every time I have one done, my blood is taken first thing in the morning and I have fasted at least 10 hours beforehand. My diet when I was focused mainly on running was much worse than when I focused on swimming. My best readings came at a time when I would eat a chocolate chip muffin for breakfast and a candy bar every afternoon.

Here is what I discovered:

1995 to 1999: Swam an average of 14,000 yards a week. Little or no running. LDL average was 123 and HDLs were 50.

2000 to 2004 - Main emphasis was running and cycling. Averaged 20 miles a week running and averaged 4,000 yards a week with swimming. LDL average 101. HDL average was 70.

2004- June 2008 - Swam average of 12,000 yards a week. Little or no running. Some cycling. Average LDL was 135. HDL 57.

Trigylcerides are always very low - range from 33 to high of 70.

On the HR monitor, I don't take the calorie count as completely accurate, but I do put stock on my average HR. Average HR is often higher or same as a run. It is much easier to swim for 1.5 hours to 2 hours than run for the same amount of time. I think it is safe to assume that if I am swimming intensely, with a high HR, I'm going to burn plenty of calories over a 1.5 hour period, probably much more than a 45 minute run.

I may just have a real funky metabolism, but thought I would point it out so others might take note of their own cholesterol readings. I am just wondering it there if some kind of hormonal reaction the body has to water below body temp that causes it to produce more LDLs.

If somebody loses weight and some can lose weight by swimming, then their LDLs will drop simply because of the weight loss. Over the 13 years I have had physicals done, my weight has been pretty stable. I've never gone below or over 8 pounds from where it was in 1995.

So, for somebody who has kept a consistent diet (and I'll admit not always a perfect diet), who is kept their weight appropriate for their height (I'm 5'9.5 and have kept my weight between 138 and 146), why are my LDLs going up and my HDLs going down when I just swim?

I really hope there will be some kind of study done on this at least as to females because I think there is something going on that has yet to be explained.

Mary - Thanks for the article. What was interesting to me is that in the studies using women, the subjects gained weight swimming while in the studies using men, the subjects lost weight. I've noticed that the best way for my husband to lose weight is to swim intensely. I've found, however, that it does not work well for weight control in many women, including myself.

CreamPuff
October 17th, 2008, 03:11 PM
Running makes me skinny and swimming makes me fat.

Same for me. Swimming=Big Tank or Running=Thin :doh: Looking forward to moving to NZ and switching from swimming to running.

elise526
October 17th, 2008, 03:25 PM
Same for me. Swimming=Big Tank or Running=Thin :doh: Looking forward to moving to NZ and switching from swimming to running.

Kristina - I've never seen you look like a big tank! One of the girls on my team said you were real sweet and encouraging to her at the Athens meet this past June. She couldn't remember your name but referred to you as "that real fit girl with the great figure - the one who is so fast."

pwolf66
October 17th, 2008, 03:39 PM
Same for me. Swimming=Big Tank.

Oh lord not ANOTHER one :doh:

I have yet to see ANY high level female swimmer who looks like a 'tank'
. Geez, get out of your heads ladies. You look MAH-velous. :groovy:

The Fortress
October 17th, 2008, 03:40 PM
When most of us "run," we tend to go longer distances in the aerobic zone, at or just below our lactate thresholds - and, at this rate and over extended periods, the male or female body generates the necessary energy primarily by burning fat. Some swimmers, in contrast, prefer to blast down the pool at top speeds - their heart rate might not race as high, perhaps, as when they run (in part because they are horizontal and cool, among other factors, and in part also because their sprint workouts include recovery time). In the sprint-paced swims, the body is more likely to draw energy from muscle glycogen rather than fat.

If one were to train on the track only for the 100-meter dash, and if one were to build their aerobic base in the pool - in other words, if one were to reverse their training practices - isn't it likely that the effects would be reversed?

This seems like a valid point. However, I've been doing more aerobic work in the pool lately. No difference. I was talking to a triathlete friend about this issue the other day. She said the same thing. Triathlon = skinny; swimming = fat. She said the only time she was thin swimming was when she was doing 10,000+ yards a day. Not happening! It would be theoretically interesting to maintain my same swim schedule and run 5x a week and see if that made a difference. I think it would, but that's really not possible either.

Michael, your studies compare swimmers to the average American for the most part. Not a valid comparison as the average American is overweight. Plus, it's not that the fat has "moved around." I didn't have much before, even after 3 kids. I have more now. Plus, there's the really awful mega shoulder tank effect. Hulk -- you're a body building guy. You look at things differently. It's just damn hard to convince fegirls that bigger is better.

Kristina Cream Puff is a size 2. No fat complaints allowed. Or we will have to post pics of the tight black nike tights!

pwb
October 17th, 2008, 03:59 PM
I have to agree with the original post and a number of the other posts here. All throughout my swimming career, if I needed to lose some pounds, I found I needed to either run or ramp up the weight lifting.

I have a hypothesis that is based on complete conjecture and absolute no reading of scientific articles: Running and lifting weights are HARD whereas swimming is easy. Granted, fast swimming is not easy, but I feel far more fatigued after trying to run a mile than after trying to swim a mile ... even if I ramp the intensity to high on both. My belief is that, since I'm a pretty efficient swimmer, switching to a different activity like running engages very different muscle systems that are inefficient and burn more fat.

I've recently knocked off about 10 pounds (low 200s to low 190s) by mainly adding running back into my training routine ... of course, this week, my knees hurt so much that I couldn't kick breaststroke, so I guess I'll just gain the weight back again:sad:

moodyrichardson
October 17th, 2008, 04:24 PM
When it comes to exercise (any kind), I know that your body and muscle systems seem to plateau, if you do only the same thing everyday. I keep reading that it's best if you sort of "shock" your body by doing different exercise routines every week or cross training. The results are calories and fat are burned more effeciently making for a higher metabolism.

Mary1912
October 17th, 2008, 04:25 PM
I have to agree with the original post and a number of the other posts here. All throughout my swimming career, if I needed to lose some pounds, I found I needed to either run or ramp up the weight lifting.

I have a hypothesis that is based on complete conjecture and absolute no reading of scientific articles: Running and lifting weights are HARD whereas swimming is easy. Granted, fast swimming is not easy, but I feel far more fatigued after trying to run a mile than after trying to swim a mile ... even if I ramp the intensity to high on both. My belief is that, since I'm a pretty efficient swimmer, switching to a different activity like running engages very different muscle systems that are inefficient and burn more fat.

I've recently knocked off about 10 pounds (low 200s to low 190s) by mainly adding running back into my training routine ... of course, this week, my knees hurt so much that I couldn't kick breaststroke, so I guess I'll just gain the weight back again:sad:

Hmm...well, if you are adding extra activity..that increases your caloric burn--therefore: more weight loss. Are you subtracting the equivalent amount of swimming activity or just adding in the running/weight lifting? So of course any additional activity is going to increase your caloric burn.

It is true that your body rapidly adjusts to exercise and becomes more efficient. When you keep your body guessing it burns more calories and therefore more weight loss.

This whole discussion is interesting to me because I am overweight and I am losing weight (slowly but surely) since I started swimming regularly back in late August. I exercise most days at lunch (elliptical, weight training..that kind of thing) but the scale never budged. Now it's moving down. I think it's just the additional swimming burning more calories. I didn't start up swimming again to lose weight. I needed to lose, but I started back up because I missed it and I love it and I enjoy exercise.

I mean, one's definition of fat and skinny is very subjective. Personally, I just don't think you can tell someone swimming will MAKE you fat.

pwolf66
October 17th, 2008, 04:39 PM
Sorry, the only thing that will increase the levels of fat in your body is if you consume (eat and/or drink) more calories per day than your body burns. Other than that, your options are having fat cells injected into your body but that seems kinda pointless.

Paul

The Fortress
October 17th, 2008, 04:44 PM
Sorry, the only thing that will increase the levels of fat in your body is if you consume (eat and/or drink) more calories per day than your body burns. Other than that, your options are having fat cells injected into your body but that seems kinda pointless.

Paul

Puff and I aren't talking about scientific percentages of fat, Hulk. And, Mary, just for the record, we are not remotely fat or overweight and aren't saying swimming makes you a huge blob. We're just saying we're bigger and weigh more as swimmers than as runners. I've heard many women complain of this phenomenon.

pwolf66
October 17th, 2008, 04:48 PM
Puff and I aren't talking about scientific percentages of fat, Hulk. And, Mary, just for the record, we are not remotely fat and aren't saying swimming makes you a huge blob. We're just saying we're bigger and weigh more as swimmers than as runners.


That is because swimming reduces levels of VISCERAL fat (the fat that surrounds your organs) as opposed to sub-cutaneous fat (the fat that rides just below your skin). And because swimming operates at a much better aerobic/anaerobic balance than running, swimming does not canabalize nearly as much muscle mass as running does.

Mary1912
October 17th, 2008, 05:07 PM
This thread is great. I'm learning a ton.

:woot:

james lucas
October 17th, 2008, 05:58 PM
I've been doing more aerobic work in the pool lately.

... swimming operates at a much better aerobic/anaerobic balance than running …
Maybe someone can help me better understand the definitions of "aerobic" and "anaerobic."

In my mind, I go back to the beginning of this thread – the heart rate monitors. The most effective range for burning fat is what I would call an "aerobic" range; in this range, the heart rate is below the lactate or anaerobic threshold – by this definition, "aerobic" work does not mean the swimmer is achieving the highest heart rate possible. In contrast, as I understand it, the most effective range for building fast-twitch muscles (that is, the training range that is most effective for building speed and other things that it takes to win a short race – but also for creating an appetite for food rather than for burning fat) is above the "anaerobic" threshold (and you’ll know you’re in that range by checking your heart rate and comparing it to, say, a T-30 swim). Right?

This all seems more complicated by the fact that an identical level of "aerobic" or "anaerobic" work will produce different heart rates when you are running versus when you are swimming. The heart rate for a comparable amount of work in the water will be lower than when you are running around a track. Again, right?

elise526
October 17th, 2008, 06:18 PM
Maybe someone can help me better understand the definitions of "aerobic" and "anaerobic."

In my mind, I go back to the beginning of this thread – the heart rate monitors. The most effective range for burning fat is what I would call an "aerobic" range; in this range, the heart rate is below the lactate or anaerobic threshold – by this definition, "aerobic" work does not mean the swimmer is achieving the highest heart rate possible. In contrast, as I understand it, the most effective range for building fast-twitch muscles (that is, the training range that is most effective for building speed and other things that it takes to win a short race – but also for creating an appetite for food rather than for burning fat) is above the "anaerobic" threshold (and you’ll know you’re in that range by checking your heart rate and comparing it to, say, a T-30 swim). Right?

This all seems more complicated by the fact that an identical level of "aerobic" or "anaerobic" work will produce different heart rates when you are running versus when you are swimming. The heart rate for a comparable amount of work in the water will be lower than when you are running around a track. Again, right?

This must be the link. I think I go hard in the pool and have my HR over the AT level quite a bit. For example, one time when I got really carried away, I did 12 x 150 free on 2:00 and tried to hold 1:45 on each one. When I finished, I took my HR with my finger at the neck and I was at 220. No joke!

In running or biking, except when I am doing speed work, and that only used to happen once a week, I would keep my HR fixed in the aerobic zone for periods of between 30 minutes to 120 minutes.

So, what I am wondering is if constantly training in an anaerobic state results in more fat storage while training in the aerobic state results in fat-burning.

For health reasons, I really am thinking about going back to triathlon training. I could eat horribly - baked goods a couple times a day and still have LDLs just around 101 and HDLs up around 70. It's much easier for me to add exercise than cut out the sweets. This will be a problem as I get older as I won't always be able to do tris. I've decided that if I can't run or bike, I'll just walk 2 hours a day and of course, still swim.

swimmj
October 17th, 2008, 06:38 PM
I find that I lose more weight while running as opposed to swimming. I am not a very skilled runner and I swam age group, in high school and in college. That being said, I much prefer swimming and supplement it with some cross country skiing, weights, yoga, hiking and rare runs. For me, it's much more about eating a reasonable diet. If I eat mostly healthfully, and workout 5+ days a week, no weight issues.

anita
October 18th, 2008, 02:40 PM
I am enjoying this thread and want to interject a question.

How much of these results are affected by age? IOW, someone mentioned fluctuating HDL/LDL levels and other specific health markers. These can worsen with age, especially if you have a genetic component.

My weight is controlled by swimming alone. But I also know that as I age (I am 42 now), my metabolism will slow down and my health markers could worsen.
To what extend would changing up exercise (and eating right, of course) still help these factors, or does age override all?

elise526
October 18th, 2008, 02:52 PM
I am enjoying this thread and want to interject a question.

How much of these results are affected by age? IOW, someone mentioned fluctuating HDL/LDL levels and other specific health markers. These can worsen with age, especially if you have a genetic component.

My weight is controlled by swimming alone. But I also know that as I age (I am 42 now), my metabolism will slow down and my health markers could worsen.
To what extend would changing up exercise (and eating right, of course) still help these factors, or does age override all?

My LDL was over 20 points lower at 37 than 29, and HDLs were 20 points higher at 37 than 29. The only thing that changed was I started running and backed off my swimming. I did not lose weight, I got older, my diet got worse, yet my cholesterol levels significantly improved.

When I got my horrible reading of 153 LDL this past June (I'm 42), I had been training hard recently in swimming for Nationals. When I got the bad reading, I started running again. Unfortunately, I only have had time to run an average of 5 miles per week. I did not change my diet. I did not lose weight. My LDLs were measured the other day and have dropped to 139.

I am not going to change my diet and will up my running to 20 miles a week starting this week. I will try to get measured in another 4 months and I bet my LDL drops 20 points. I'm still swimming the same, but adding the running to test out my theory. I'll keep y'all posted.

P.s. My diet is not horrible. I was, however, extremely good at 29, yet my levels were higher than 37 when I ate muffins, donuts, and candy bars. Have cut out how much I eat this stuff, but refuse to give it up completely. Also, I do not plan to become a vegetarian.

onefish
October 18th, 2008, 03:29 PM
Brief comment on taking heart rate:

After going for my first (and hopefully last) session of "beat the machine", the cardiologist told me that using a finger to take your pusle is often inaccurate. I don't know the exact biology of it, but it had something to do with your finger's pressure on the arteries in your neck causing a counter reaction by your heart.

In my case, it seemed my heart was skipping a beat, when in fact it was a "normal" occurance of an early beat. Happened during intense all-out drop-dead sprint workouts, then would return to normal during a recovery drill.

Personally, I've not been able to lose much weight by ramping up swimming mileage, even with the summers at Hains Point in sometimes soupy water. I agree that running and/or biking might be the key. Weights seem to increase some muscle mass, perhaps a trade-off, but not a decrease of overall weight in my case.

DV

Glenn
October 18th, 2008, 03:36 PM
Interesting thread. I have been swimming Masters for almost 30 years and I have wondered why with all of my exercise, that I keep the same 176 pounds on this 59 year old 5' 10" body.

I have just begun to use a HR monitor and have read Sally Edwards' book, "The Heart Rate Monitor Guidebook". Regarding burning fat she says:

Fat is burned in every heart zone. The percentage and total amount of fat burned changes depends on many factors principally how fit you are and how hard you are exercising. There is not one fat burning zone, rather, the exercise intensities that burn the most fat is called the fat burning range.

...This illusive zone is really not a zone but a range of heartbeats that gets bigger as you get fitter. The bigger your fat burning range, the more fat calories that you burn with every beat of your heart.


...Oxygen must be available for fat to burn. When there is insufficient oxygen, there is no additional fat burned. The fat burning range is the exercise intensity level when you are aerobic, not anaerobic.

Since so much swimming is done at or near the anaerobic zone, it follows that we won't be burning much fat or at least as much as the output of calories leads you to believe you are burning. So, if you want to burn fat while swimming, swim in the aerobic range not the anaerobic range.

anita
October 18th, 2008, 03:38 PM
When I got my horrible reading of 153 LDL this past June (I'm 42), I had been training hard recently in swimming for Nationals. When I got the bad reading, I started running again. Unfortunately, I only have had time to run an average of 5 miles per week. I did not change my diet. I did not lose weight. My LDLs were measured the other day and have dropped to 139.

That's exactly what I was looking for--thanks! I don't want to alter my diet (I swim to eat!), but adding some jogging in is doable...albeit painful, mentally speaking.

geochuck
October 18th, 2008, 04:20 PM
Cholesterol is more genetics then what you eat.

The Fortress
October 18th, 2008, 08:09 PM
Since so much swimming is done at or near the anaerobic zone, it follows that we won't be burning much fat or at least as much as the output of calories leads you to believe you are burning. So, if you want to burn fat while swimming, swim in the aerobic range not the anaerobic range.

I knew it. Swimming makes you fat, and sprinting really makes you fat. Lovely. I'm adding 2 x week of spinning this year to see if that helps. But I still miss my running body.

Anita, I think you can combat age somewhat with cross training and portion control. Although it's hard to battle a metabolic slow down. After being fairly thin and eating whatever I wanted my whole life, I noticed slight down ticks at 43 and 46. Although, 43 was when I started masters swimming and, at 46, I ramped up the anaerobic work. So perhaps the perceived slow down was just a change in type of exercise? In any event, I intend to go the Elise route somewhat and train more similarly to a triathlete. But it's difficult to do this and still swim 4-5x a week and prepare for meets, which is the reason I swim. Cross training and meets do not go together. For what's it's worth, my husband who runs 365 days a year and is 48 look almost exactly the same as 20 years ago. All he's done is cut out desserts and watch what he eats a bit more.

hofffam
October 19th, 2008, 12:19 AM
Interesting thread. I have been swimming Masters for almost 30 years and I have wondered why with all of my exercise, that I keep the same 176 pounds on this 59 year old 5' 10" body.

I have just begun to use a HR monitor and have read Sally Edwards' book, "The Heart Rate Monitor Guidebook". Regarding burning fat she says:

Fat is burned in every heart zone. The percentage and total amount of fat burned changes depends on many factors principally how fit you are and how hard you are exercising. There is not one fat burning zone, rather, the exercise intensities that burn the most fat is called the fat burning range.

...This illusive zone is really not a zone but a range of heartbeats that gets bigger as you get fitter. The bigger your fat burning range, the more fat calories that you burn with every beat of your heart.


...Oxygen must be available for fat to burn. When there is insufficient oxygen, there is no additional fat burned. The fat burning range is the exercise intensity level when you are aerobic, not anaerobic.

Since so much swimming is done at or near the anaerobic zone, it follows that we won't be burning much fat or at least as much as the output of calories leads you to believe you are burning. So, if you want to burn fat while swimming, swim in the aerobic range not the anaerobic range.

There is really a simple reason why anaerobic training does not burn as much fat as aerobic training. Training at higher intensity levels requires more "fuel" than training at lower intensity levels. Fat is a "slow" source of energy. The body cannot use fat to convert it fast enough to supply the muscles. So the body switches to carbohydrate. For the most intense exercise the body uses glycogen stored in the muscles.

Activities shorter than 30 secs can be satisfied completely from stored glycogen. That's why you can sprint with little or no breathing - oxygen is required to use carbohydrate and fat for energy.

If you want to burn fat through swimming - you should swim more long sets at aerobic pace. Your body will choose the energy source that best meets the requirements. For long duration exercise at a moderate pace fat meets the needs.

Disclaimer - I am not any kind of expert on these topics. But search "energy pathways" and you fill find many good articles on this topic.

Allen Stark
October 19th, 2008, 02:33 AM
There is really a simple reason why anaerobic training does not burn as much fat as aerobic training. Training at higher intensity levels requires more "fuel" than training at lower intensity levels. Fat is a "slow" source of energy. The body cannot use fat to convert it fast enough to supply the muscles. So the body switches to carbohydrate. For the most intense exercise the body uses glycogen stored in the muscles.

Activities shorter than 30 secs can be satisfied completely from stored glycogen. That's why you can sprint with little or no breathing - oxygen is required to use carbohydrate and fat for energy.

If you want to burn fat through swimming - you should swim more long sets at aerobic pace. Your body will choose the energy source that best meets the requirements. For long duration exercise at a moderate pace fat meets the needs.

Disclaimer - I am not any kind of expert on these topics. But search "energy pathways" and you fill find many good articles on this topic.

Sorry,but the "fat burning zone" as the best way to lose weight myth is not good physiology.Yes in the so called"fat burning zone" you are using primarily fat for fuel and at faster speeds you are primarily using glycogen for fuel,but that is not the whole story.At faster speeds you are still burning some fat,but you are burnung more glycogen.You are also burning more calories and if you do not eat more after a hard workout than after an easy work out you will lose more weight.Your body will draw from the fat to replace energy stores.There is an additional advantage to the harder workout,namely you take longer to recover and that recovery takes energy.Further,sprint type workouts build more muscle mass and muscles burn calories at rest.

hofffam
October 19th, 2008, 09:50 AM
Sorry,but the "fat burning zone" as the best way to lose weight myth is not good physiology.Yes in the so called"fat burning zone" you are using primarily fat for fuel and at faster speeds you are primarily using glycogen for fuel,but that is not the whole story.At faster speeds you are still burning some fat,but you are burnung more glycogen.You are also burning more calories and if you do not eat more after a hard workout than after an easy work out you will lose more weight.Your body will draw from the fat to replace energy stores.There is an additional advantage to the harder workout,namely you take longer to recover and that recovery takes energy.Further,sprint type workouts build more muscle mass and muscles burn calories at rest.

I made a point of not saying lose weight. I agree fat is burned at all levels. And more calories are burned at high intensity levels. When glycogen is depleted, the body replaces it. Where does it replace it from? With carbohydrate and fat.

A style of dryland training called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is intended to do much of what you say. Short intense periods of exercise, followed by recovery periods. It is similar to many types of swimming sets.

A good article on energy pathways:

http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/nutrition/a/aa080803a.htm

geochuck
October 19th, 2008, 10:09 AM
hofffam

How do we replace glycogen.

We originally did glycogen replacement in the 50s by consuming Wheatgerm Oil then switched over to Vitamin E to replace Wheatgerm Oil.

We were also told that there was no sense taking Wheat Germ Oil or vitamin E if you were not working out hard.

We were also told that Iron depleted Glycogen. Are there any major changes in the advice we received.

Allen Stark
October 19th, 2008, 11:19 AM
hofffam

How do we replace glycogen.

We originally did glycogen replacement in the 50s by consuming Wheatgerm Oil then switched over to Vitamin E to replace Wheatgerm Oil.

We were also told that there was no sense taking Wheat Germ Oil or vitamin E if you were not working out hard.

We were also told that Iron depleted Glycogen. Are there any major changes in the advice we received.
Eventually your body will replace glycogen from other energy stores in the body and from dietary carbs,however that is not good enough if you are going to train 2 days in a row.If you are, you need to start getting carbs within 30 min of finishing your workout,ideally in a 4:1 carb to protein ratio(you need the protein for muscle repair.)During this time your body will preferentially ship the glycogen to your muscles.Remember"you eat today for your workout tomorrow." Vit C and E and other anti-oxydents are important because the increased metabolism of exercise increases free radical formation.

anita
October 19th, 2008, 11:55 AM
Anita, I think you can combat age somewhat with cross training and portion control.

Crap. Eyeing that treadmill with trepidation...

Jazz Hands
October 19th, 2008, 04:24 PM
Re: Blah blah blah swimming makes me fat

Stop eating so many refined carbs.

geochuck
October 19th, 2008, 04:31 PM
Jazz - Fort and Elise must eat too much of everything not just refined carbs.
I agree with Elise. Running makes me skinny and swimming makes me fat. Don't think it can all be attributed to diet or age. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

The Fortress
October 19th, 2008, 04:37 PM
Re: Blah blah blah swimming makes me fat

Stop eating so many refined carbs.

I don't eat many refined carbs. :mooning: In fact, I just made a nice spicy lentil chili.

If so many athletes, especially so many women, experience this phenomenon, we aren't crazy. Here's a point of comparison. Go to a triathlon or a 10K road race and compare the women there to those at a masters swim meet ... I guarantee you that the former are leaner.

geochuck
October 19th, 2008, 04:56 PM
Fort do you really believe there are no Fat Tri Athletes
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.albanyweblog.com/images/07-17-06_02_01.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.albanyweblog.com/2006/07-Jul/07-17-06.html&h=1199&w=1330&sz=634&hl=en&start=12&um=1&usg=__yLuMe3U-GDk8PCo45jF38_qRGA8=&tbnid=YFmy6GQFEammHM:&tbnh=135&tbnw=150&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dfat%2Btri%2Bathlete%26um%3D1%26hl%3De n%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-ca%26sa%3DN

I don't eat many refined carbs. :mooning: In fact, I just made a nice spicy lentil chili.

If so many athletes, especially so many women, experience this phenomenon, we aren't crazy. Here's a point of comparison. Go to a triathlon or a 10K road race and compare the women there to those at a masters swim meet ... I guarantee you that the former are leaner.

Allen Stark
October 19th, 2008, 05:50 PM
I don't eat many refined carbs. :mooning: In fact, I just made a nice spicy lentil chili.

If so many athletes, especially so many women, experience this phenomenon, we aren't crazy. Here's a point of comparison. Go to a triathlon or a 10K road race and compare the women there to those at a masters swim meet ... I guarantee you that the former are leaner.

Leaner,but not better looking.My observation is that,in general,USMS women are HOT.:banana:

some_girl
October 19th, 2008, 06:10 PM
If so many athletes, especially so many women, experience this phenomenon, we aren't crazy. Here's a point of comparison. Go to a triathlon or a 10K road race and compare the women there to those at a masters swim meet ... I guarantee you that the former are leaner.

Correlation ... causation. Honestly, I find most compelling the theory that people predisposed to higher fat retention swim rather than that the sport changes your body type.

CreamPuff
October 19th, 2008, 06:28 PM
Re: Blah blah blah swimming makes me fat

Stop eating so many refined carbs.

LOL :rofl:
Isn't this kid in his 20s?

Jazz Hands
October 19th, 2008, 08:19 PM
LOL :rofl:
Isn't this kid in his 20s?

You don't have to be old to have excess body fat. I lost quite a bit of weight this year by changing my diet.

The Fortress
October 19th, 2008, 08:33 PM
You don't have to be old to have excess body fat. I lost quite a bit of weight this year by changing my diet.

I had no excess fat when I started swimming or swam as an age grouper (contrary to some girl's theory, which may have some merit), at your age, or at any other time really until I started masters swimming. And I ate way worse as a kid.

(Note: I trained vastly vastly more when young, which probably accounted for the lack of real body fat.)

SwimStud
October 19th, 2008, 08:59 PM
Leaner,but not better looking.My observation is that,in general,USMS women are HOT.:banana:

Ditto to this Allen. I like the curves and the athleticism of swim gals :D

Ripple
October 19th, 2008, 09:16 PM
Sorry,but the "fat burning zone" as the best way to lose weight myth is not good physiology...

True. The "fat burning range" was something I remember distance athletes training in back in the eighties (maybe still do) to train their bodies to burn fat so as to be able to draw on it in a marathon/century ride/ski loppet/whatever and not hit the wall. The general public selectively heard the "fat burning" part, just as they only heard the "diet" part of the high-carbohydrate diet that distance runners were starting to eat for energy - not for weight loss.

elise526
October 19th, 2008, 09:24 PM
Re: Blah blah blah swimming makes me fat

Stop eating so many refined carbs.

I'm not necessarily saying that swimming makes me fat, and none of the women here have a weight problem by any stetch. From my own experience, having competed in HS and college in both sports, no way does swimming result in lowering body fat the way running does.

I am simply wondering why my LDLs were much higher when I just swam. By the way, I thrived on refined carbs as a triathlete, and as a 36 year old female, had 14% body fat.

What I am wondering is if training at anaerobic levels raises the cortisol levels in the body which in turn results in higher LDLs. I know it is thought that stress raises LDL levels. Perhaps high intensity training (anaerobic) is a stress on the body that results in a higher cortisol level. Maybe high cortisol levels in women result in the storage of fat. Any medical folks out there have any thoughts on this theory?

elise526
October 19th, 2008, 09:35 PM
Here is something I found by Dr. George Best:

The adrenal glands produce another hormone that can promote weight gain though. This hormone is called cortisol, and it tends to cause the storage of fat in the lower abdomen. Unlike adrenaline which is produced for only short periods of time, the adrenal glands can produce cortisol long-term. This means that any fat-burning effects from adrenaline will be overcome in the long-run by the fat-storing effects of cortisol. From a survival standpoint, cortisol serves the purpose of providing emergency storage of fat for energy when the body is under stress for a long period of time. For human cultures in which the primary source of stress is physical stress, this fat storage can help keep people alive during extended periods of living under harsh conditions. The problem is, mental/emotional stress will elevate cortisol levels too, and for individuals who lead particularly stressful lives, the continued high cortisol levels will likely stimulate lower belly fat deposition.

So what does this have to do with exercise? Well, for someone who is under chronic emotional stress and whose adrenal glands are constantly overworked, their cortisol production is already high and their ability to produce adrenaline has been largely exhausted. If you add a lot of strenuous exercise into the mix, the result is more cortisol production. As the cortisol levels increase, there is a greater and greater tendency to store fat in the lower abdomen.

Also interesting - a scientific study of high cortisol levels in women and the storage of fat: http://www.ohsu.edu/ohsuedu/newspub/releases/menopausal060605.cfm

hofffam
October 19th, 2008, 09:37 PM
Ditto to this Allen. I like the curves and the athleticism of swim gals :D

I agree! Runners and triathletes have very uninteresting bodies in general.

Chris Stevenson
October 20th, 2008, 05:44 AM
1995 to 1999: Swam an average of 14,000 yards a week. Little or no running. LDL average was 123 and HDLs were 50.

2000 to 2004 - Main emphasis was running and cycling. Averaged 20 miles a week running and averaged 4,000 yards a week with swimming. LDL average 101. HDL average was 70.

2004- June 2008 - Swam average of 12,000 yards a week. Little or no running. Some cycling. Average LDL was 135. HDL 57.

I am no runner, but...comparing the 00-04 years to the others, it appears that you are basically replacing 8,000-10,000 yards of swimming with 20 miles of running.

Forget all this "fat burning HR" nonsense, I believe you were simply burning significantly more calories running than swimming, particularly when you factor in hills and the pounding that running produces.

For me the comparison would be cycling: one hour of cycling will generally consumer more calories than one hour of swimming because, in cycling, I am exercising continuously (even recovering from hard efforts is "active recovery") while that is not true in swimming. In swim practice, including time between sets, you might spend as much as 10-50% of the time on the wall (although, for me, the level of intensity tends to be somewhat higher in swimming).

Using Elise's numbers as an example: at a pace of 8-minute miles, 20 miles is 160 minutes. At a 1:15/hundred pace, 10,000 yards would take 125 minutes if swum continuously. Substitute the rates of your choice, but generally running & swimming at a comparable level of ability will have the result that running 20 miles takes longer to do than swimming 8000-10000 yards.

(And it seems to me that I have read from a number of sources -- which doesn't necessarily make it true -- that the same perceived effort for running will burn calories at a slightly higher rate than for swimming. This might possibly have to do with cooling.)

geochuck
October 20th, 2008, 10:04 AM
Here are some Calories burnt doing 30 minutes exercise, they may not be completely accurate??? Calories burnt depends on your size, weight, muscle mass, male or female, and effort.

Swimming, Backstroke, general 306
Swimming, Breaststroke, general 434
Swimming, Butterfly, general 459
Swimming, Freestyle, laps - fast/vigorous effort 459
Swimming, Freestyle, laps - light/moderate effort 298
Swimming, General, leisurely, not lap swimming 255

Cycling, Outdoor, 16-19km/h, light effort 255
Cycling, Outdoor, 19-22km/h, moderate effort 332
Cycling, Outdoor, 22-27kmh, vigorous effort 434
Cycling, Outdoor, 27-30km/h, very fast 510
Cycling, Outdoor, < 16km/h, leisurely pace 179
Cycling, Stationary, general 306
Cycling, Stationary, light effort, 50 watts (<16 km/h) 128
Cycling, Stationary, moderate effort, 100 watts (16-21 km/h) 229
Cycling, Stationary, very vigorous effort, 250 watts (26-30 km/h) 510
Cycling, Stationary, vigorous effort, 200 watts (21-26 km/h) 459

Running / Jogging, 10km/h 439
Running / Jogging, 11km/h 483
Running / Jogging, 12km/h 527
Running / Jogging, 13km/h 571
Running / Jogging, 14km/h 615
Running / Jogging, 15km/h 658
Running / Jogging, 16km/h 702
Running / Jogging, 17km/h 746
Running / Jogging, 8km/h 351
Running / Jogging, 9km/h 395

Walking, Outdoor, 3km/h, slow pace 102
Walking, Outdoor, 4km/h 128
Walking, Outdoor, 5.5 km/h, brisk pace, walking for exercise 153
Walking, Outdoor, 5.5 km/h, uphill 255
Walking, Outdoor, 5km/h, moderate pace 153
Walking, Outdoor, 6km/h, very, very brisk pace 204
Walking, Outdoor, 8km/h 332
Walking, Outdoor, General, Strolling, less than 3km/h 76
Walking, Treadmill, 3km/h, slow pace 102
Walking, Treadmill, 5.5km/h, incline 255
Walking, Treadmill, 5km/h, moderate pace 153
Walking, Treadmill, 6km/h, very brisk pace 281
Walking, Up stairs 332

elise526
October 20th, 2008, 10:21 AM
Chris - I agree with you somewhat on the calories explaination. The only thing that perplexes me is that in college as an 18-20 year old, I probably trained in swimming 15-18 hours a week. Even with all those hours of training, I still had to be mindful of my diet. In my mid-thirties, I trained only 12-15 hours a week for triathlons and could barely eat enough to keep my weight and body fat appropriate for my height and frame. It was bad enough that I wake up in the middle of the night starving and have to eat something.

Yes, since I stopped doing the triathlons, family and friends have commented that I look much better than when I did the triathlons. I'm not really complaining about being fat but am just curious as to why the LDLs are so much higher.

At the level some masters swim, I think many burn as many calories in an intense hour of swimming as they would with a moderate run. I can buy that running or biking would burn a few more calories and is usually done continously whereas swimming is done with a stop and go thing. I still can't help but wonder though about the storage of fat thing and high levels of cortisol.

I read a study the other day about male swimmers and high levels of cortisol. I'll see if I can find it. I'm really cuious about a study done on female swimmers, level of cortisol, and changes in body fat levels.

JMiller
October 20th, 2008, 10:23 AM
That's right, written like a true professor!

Now, I'm not sure how many of you are aware of this, but there is a time-based relationship between running and swimming, on a scale of about 4-to-1.

What that means is, 100 meters of swimming equals a 400 meter run in terms of time spent exercising, approximately. The world's best 100m run is 9.69, which is about what a top swimmer will do from the blocks for a 25.

The point is simple, if you really want to compare a 4 mile run, in terms of physiological impact, you should swim continuously for 1 mile, or an equivalent time.

Conversely, if you wanted to know how best to train for the 100 meter swim you should compare to the world's best 400 runners. Amazing how they focus on extending 100 meter bursts (400/100,100/25,4-1), maximizing top speed output over the 400 using sprint endurance.


I am no runner, but...comparing the 00-04 years to the others, it appears that you are basically replacing 8,000-10,000 yards of swimming with 20 miles of running.

Forget all this "fat burning HR" nonsense, I believe you were simply burning significantly more calories running than swimming, particularly when you factor in hills and the pounding that running produces.

For me the comparison would be cycling: one hour of cycling will generally consumer more calories than one hour of swimming because, in cycling, I am exercising continuously (even recovering from hard efforts is "active recovery") while that is not true in swimming. In swim practice, including time between sets, you might spend as much as 10-50% of the time on the wall (although, for me, the level of intensity tends to be somewhat higher in swimming).

Using Elise's numbers as an example: at a pace of 8-minute miles, 20 miles is 160 minutes. At a 1:15/hundred pace, 10,000 yards would take 125 minutes if swum continuously. Substitute the rates of your choice, but generally running & swimming at a comparable level of ability will have the result that running 20 miles takes longer to do than swimming 8000-10000 yards.

(And it seems to me that I have read from a number of sources -- which doesn't necessarily make it true -- that the same perceived effort for running will burn calories at a slightly higher rate than for swimming. This might possibly have to do with cooling.)

geochuck
October 20th, 2008, 10:30 AM
Cut down on your night time snacks. Years ago my doctor told me if you are need a little snack eat a couple of soda crackers. If I wake up starving I do love cheese. 1 oz of cheese and 4 cackers a great snack. If I need something exotic to tingle my taste buds 2 slices of pickled beets. and a half slice of ham.

elise526
October 20th, 2008, 10:35 AM
Cut down on your night time snacks. Years ago my doctor told me if you are need a little snack eat a couple of soda crackers. If Iwake up starving i do love cheese. 1 oz of cheese and 4 cackers a great snack. If I need something exotic to tingle my taste buds 2 slices of pickled beets. and a half slice of ham.

Thanks for the suggestion, geochuck. Believe me, I don't eat anything like I did 5 or 6 years ago. No night snacks, daily muffins, or donuts on the weekend for me now. I would truly be fat is I ate the way I did back then. I would have been truly fat in college despite all the swimming if I ate the way I did 5 or 6 years ago.

Here is the study I found which doesn't really answer my question, but does indicate that hormonal changes do take place at least on the particular hormones they studied : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8861670

As with many things, I don't think there is a simple explaination. Perhaps the swimming vs. running thing is a combination of difference of calories burned along with changes that take place in primarily anaerobic activity.

Chris Stevenson
October 20th, 2008, 12:06 PM
Chris - I agree with you somewhat on the calories explaination. The only thing that perplexes me is that in college as an 18-20 year old, I probably trained in swimming 15-18 hours a week. Even with all those hours of training, I still had to be mindful of my diet. In my mid-thirties, I trained only 12-15 hours a week for triathlons and could barely eat enough to keep my weight and body fat appropriate for my height and frame. It was bad enough that I wake up in the middle of the night starving and have to eat something.

I seem to recall reading once about a study of elite-level swimmers and runners. The investigators were puzzled by the fact that the swimmers tended to have higher body fat percentages than the runners (although both groups were quite low, as you might imagine).

Unfortunately I cannot find the article now but I seem to recall that the swimmers' appetites were generally greater than the runners -- they tended to want to eat more (relative to workload). After hearing about Phelps' routine daily diet, I guess I don't find that hard to believe...

Of course, it may well be that low body fat favors running as a sport more than swimming, so there is a self-selection problem going on here (ie, the elite runners are those people who tend toward lower body fat).

Allen Stark
October 21st, 2008, 01:21 AM
Here is something I found by Dr. George Best:

The adrenal glands produce another hormone that can promote weight gain though. This hormone is called cortisol, and it tends to cause the storage of fat in the lower abdomen. Unlike adrenaline which is produced for only short periods of time, the adrenal glands can produce cortisol long-term. This means that any fat-burning effects from adrenaline will be overcome in the long-run by the fat-storing effects of cortisol. From a survival standpoint, cortisol serves the purpose of providing emergency storage of fat for energy when the body is under stress for a long period of time. For human cultures in which the primary source of stress is physical stress, this fat storage can help keep people alive during extended periods of living under harsh conditions. The problem is, mental/emotional stress will elevate cortisol levels too, and for individuals who lead particularly stressful lives, the continued high cortisol levels will likely stimulate lower belly fat deposition.

So what does this have to do with exercise? Well, for someone who is under chronic emotional stress and whose adrenal glands are constantly overworked, their cortisol production is already high and their ability to produce adrenaline has been largely exhausted. If you add a lot of strenuous exercise into the mix, the result is more cortisol production. As the cortisol levels increase, there is a greater and greater tendency to store fat in the lower abdomen.

Also interesting - a scientific study of high cortisol levels in women and the storage of fat: http://www.ohsu.edu/ohsuedu/newspub/releases/menopausal060605.cfm

Interesting hypothesis.One confounding factor is that"moderate"exercise decreases perceived stress and so would lead to decreased cortisol levels.Very strenuous exercise does increase cortisol levels though.

Ripple
October 21st, 2008, 02:27 PM
Lack of sleep can send cortisol levels through the roof, supposedly. I want to eat constantly when I get one of my boughts of insomnia, so I think there's something to that.

DianaC
October 21st, 2008, 03:54 PM
What about birth control? Hormones can affect metabolism rates, and of course they affect women and not men. Many women report weight gain when they start BCP, and this weight gain is difficult to manage, regardless of the exercise. Any thoughts? Have you seen any research/studies on this? Thanks. Diana

geochuck
October 21st, 2008, 04:58 PM
I have never taken birth control pills so I cannot tell you about that problem. I would suggest abstinence.


What about birth control? Hormones can affect metabolism rates, and of course they affect women and not men. Many women report weight gain when they start BCP, and this weight gain is difficult to manage, regardless of the exercise. Any thoughts? Have you seen any research/studies on this? Thanks. Diana

elise526
October 21st, 2008, 05:10 PM
What about birth control? Hormones can affect metabolism rates, and of course they affect women and not men. Many women report weight gain when they start BCP, and this weight gain is difficult to manage, regardless of the exercise. Any thoughts? Have you seen any research/studies on this? Thanks. Diana

I've seen conflicting studies, so I don't know that there is a simple answer. I think it depends on the woman. For me, I can't say I had a weight gain, but did have a change in body fat level. It tended to increase by 2 or 3 percent. Some female athletes are willing to trade off the slight increase in body fat for predictability and less problems with anemia.

Iwannafly
October 21st, 2008, 09:09 PM
Running and lifting weights are HARD whereas swimming is easy. Granted, fast swimming is not easy, but I feel far more fatigued after trying to run a mile than after trying to swim a mile ... even if I ramp the intensity to high on both.

Having grown up as a runner, I can say that I am the opposite. Trying to swim a 100 back, for me, is equivalent to running an 800m dash (in my opinion, the hardest race on the track). Within a very short period, I get my stride and my legs back and can crank out 6:00 miles. Not so much in the pool. I have been swimming for nearly two years now and have dropped about 30 pounds, though that's more due to changing my complete lack of exercise and the pack-a-day smoking habit than anything else.

elise526
October 21st, 2008, 09:18 PM
Having grown up as a runner, I can say that I am the opposite. Trying to swim a 100 back, for me, is equivalent to running an 800m dash (in my opinion, the hardest race on the track). Within a very short period, I get my stride and my legs back and can crank out 6:00 miles. Not so much in the pool. I have been swimming for nearly two years now and have dropped about 30 pounds, though that's more due to changing my complete lack of exercise and the pack-a-day smoking habit than anything else.

Yes, having done the track thing also, the 800 is the ultimate killer. Gosh, one has to be in such good shape to do that one - what I think of as an endurance sprint!

Is that 6:00 your training pace?