When it comes to losing weight, most people think that they have to get on the treadmill or elliptical in order to achieve lasting results. Thankfully for people who don’t care for either of these machines, you have another option that can get you closer to your weight loss goal—swimming. How much time do you need to put in to effectively shed those extra pounds? It depends.

Swimming is like any other physical activity in that your body’s response to it is based on a number of factors, such as age, gender, and your current physical condition. Plus, it also matters how fast or slow you swim as to how many calories you will burn in one water-based session.

In the end, you need to create a 3,500 calorie deficit to get rid of one pound (.45 kg) of fat. So, the real question is, how long will it take your body to do that based on your physical characteristics and level of swimming intensity?

To make this easier for you, Health Status offers a free online calorie burn calculator that lets you input your information for a more precise idea of how much swimming you would have to do to achieve weight loss at the speed that you desire. Just put in your gender, age, height, and weight, then select the “Sports & Recreation” category, inputting the number of minutes you plan to spend in the pool or lake under the appropriate swimming category of either moderate or vigorous, then hit “Calculate.”

For instance, if you are a 5’4 female who is 40 years old and weighs 135 pounds, you will burn 186 calories with 30 minutes of moderate swimming or 299 calories if you kick it up a notch and engage in vigorous swimming. You can then use this information to help you decide how much time to put in to achieve your particular weight loss goal.