Our expert says:
It can. Any exercise that acutely raises your metabolic rate has the potential to burn fat and help with weight loss. It just has to be married to a good diet, and has to be at the right volume, and intensity to be effective.
The 'ideal' is to aim for 45 minutes a day of training. That's difficult to start at, so if you're starting, it's OK to do much less, and build up so that you hit 45 minutes in say 6 to 8 weeks. So 12 laps a day is a good start, but I suspect that would take about 15 to 18 minutes, and that's probably too little in the long run, which means you may need to look at other exercise as well.
So maybe swimming is part of, but not the only, exercise you do. You might consider checking the fitness page of this site, and clicking on "programmes" on the left hand side, and then choosing one of those. They may even have swimming programmes.
Finally, remember that diet must be part of this - you can do all the exercise in the world and achieve little, if your diet is poor.
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