Does Swimming Burn More Calories Than Running?

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Running and swimming are great ways to burn calories. Swimming involves the entire body's efforts, therefore it can burn calories faster. Running on the other hand mostly involves the core and lower body alone. Running is easier to pick and maintain an exercise routine but swimming requires skill and space. After all, a consistent workout routine can only give you the desired results.

Amidst the variety of exercise routines, running and swimming feature as any fitness enthusiast’s top favorites. But what burns more calories? Running a mile or swimming a mile? Yes, swimming burns more calories than running especially because it involves the whole body, but there is more to it.

Running is the most preferred mode of exercise because all you need is the right running gear and some space. But swimming requires a pool and definitely, some decent training. Moreover, the number of people who swam frequently are very minimal when compared to those who ran frequently. Find out what makes running and swimming unique and what burns more calories.

The Benefits Of Running 

does swimming burns calories than running benefits runners

More and more people are getting hooked to running. There is so much awareness about this exhilarating form of exercise nowadays. Below are the benefits of running.

  • Strengthens the knee joints and musculoskeletal system
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Prevents the onset of chronic diseases
  • Improves cardiovascular fitness
  • Great for core-strengthening
  • Tones the body
  • Increases your longevity
  • Boosts memory and makes the mind sharper

The Benefits Of Swimming

does swimming burns calories than running benefits swimmer

Swimming is a high-intensity exercise that most people swear by when it comes to burning calories. Below are the benefits of swimming.

  • It makes the muscles and joints flexible and gets rid of overall stiffness
  • Builds up endurance and muscle strength
  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Boosts cardiac output and strengthens the heart muscles
  • Tones the entire physique
  • Provides better oxygenation to tissues via blood circulation
  • Rejuvenates the body
  • Is more fun to swim, hence a natural mood-enhancer
  • Improved ability to control and maintain healthy weight

 What’s Better, Running Or Swimming?

Swimming gives you a full-body workout and is easier on your joints than running. Your core muscles, hamstrings, calves and quadriceps are used more than your shoulders and arms.

The water resistance and buoyancy offered to the swimmer while swimming makes it harder to swim. Unlike running, swimming is a low-impact exercise and is great for people with aching joints and chronic diseases like the elderly.1The effort required to swim the same distance as you run is definitely more.

If you follow a consistent intake of calories without binge-eating frequently, then a moderate intensity workout like swimming will help you lose weight. It is estimated that you could burn off at least 350 calories during an intense 30-minute swim. It takes more physical effort to swim two miles than it does to run two miles. 2

But, Don’t Stop Running

One look at the physique of a runner and you can easily notice agility and a great body tone. Running has several benefits but what you could burn in a daily 30-minute swim would require 1 hour of running a day.

Although you can make your running more efficient by adding cross-training to it, the chances of running injuries are higher. It is not advised for people suffering from musculoskeletal issues too.3

Swimming is enjoyed by many but it has become more recreational than an exercise due to various reasons. Being a whole body exercise, swimming can burn a lot more calories provided you control your food intake. But if you don’t have access to a swimming pool, then wear those running shoes and hit the road/treadmill. Remember that some form of physical activity is mandatory for your health and fitness.

Ultimately, if your goal is to burn calories, choose an exercise that you can do daily. Having a consistent workout regime is the best way to encourage the burning of calories and to maintain a healthy weight.

References   [ + ]

1.Cox, Kay L., Valerie Burke, Lawrence J. Beilin, and Ian B. Puddey. “A comparison of the effects of swimming and walking on body weight, fat distribution, lipids, glucose, and insulin in older women—the Sedentary Women Exercise Adherence Trial 2.” Metabolism 59, no. 11 (2010): 1562-1573.
2.Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights.Harvard Medical Publications
3.Koplan, Jeffery P., Kenneth E. Powell, R. Keith Sikes, Renee W. Shirley, and C. C. Campbell. “An epidemiologic study of the benefits and risks of running.” Jama 248, no. 23 (1982): 3118-3121.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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