You may prefer to get into your pair of running shoes and run along, or jump into the pool and swim. But, did you know that swimming and running are excellent forms of aerobic exercises? Is swimming better than running for weight loss? In that case, let us clear your doubts.
Running is a winner over swimming when it comes to calorie burning because, according to fitness experts only a few people can swim for a long time, but many people can run for a long time. Hence, by referring to this article further you could obtain deep knowledge about how swimming vs running helps you with weight reduction.
Overview Of Swimming Vs Running For Weight Loss
Swimming and running are both great modes of cardiovascular exercise. In fact, both are excellent forms to burn calories and promote cardio fitness. Basically, they consider two-thirds of a triathlon.
Swimming, while it is a low-impact form of activity, it also has the following benefits:
- Develops endurance, cardiovascular fitness, and muscle strength.
- It maintains your heart rate up but takes some of the bearing pressure off your body.
- Relieving stress
- Increasing flexibility.
- It supports you to keep a healthy heart, lungs and maintain a healthy weight.
- Builds strength and tones muscles.
- Being a relaxing and calm mode of exercise.
- It provides an all-over body workout; practically all of your muscles are worked during swimming.
- Enhancing balance, coordination, and posture.
And running, while it serves as a high-impact exercise, also gives the following health benefits:
- Torches plenty of calories leading to weight reduction.
- Support to develop strong bones, as it is a weight-bearing activity.
- Tones and shapes your lower body.
- Strengthening muscles.
- Boost cardiovascular fitness
- Promotes better sleep.
- Help keep a healthy weight.
- Lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure to reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Reduces the chance of osteoporosis.
- Ameliorating symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Generally, running shows a more significant impact on burning calories than swimming when it comes to weight loss. But, that does not mean we should underestimate swimming’s ability to burn calories. In fact, depending on the stroke in swimming, intensity, duration, pace, and the body weight of a person, calorie-burning may vary.
The Number Of Calories Burned By Swimming And Running
As we mentioned earlier, calorie-burning may vary depending on the weight, pace, intensity, and duration when exercising. And when it comes to swimming, different swimming strokes can torch varied amounts of calories. But, on average, a person who weighs about 150 pounds (68 kilograms) will burn roughly 400 calories during 1 hour of moderate-intensity swimming. And about 700 calories after a 1-hour high-intensity swimming session. And, if an individual who weighs the same runs at a 12-minute pace (5 miles per hour) for 1 hour, he will burn about 580 calories. If that person is running at a 10-minute speed (six miles per hour), he’ll torch approximately 720 calories.
The table below presents the amounts of calories burned based on different body weights done in 30 minutes of activity in different paces.
|Activity (30 mins)||125lb||155lb||185lb|
|Swimming, leisurely pace||180||223||266|
|Swimming, vigorous pace||300||372||444|
|Running, 5 mph pace (12 min/mile)||240||298||355|
|Running, 7.5 mph (8 min/mile)||375||465||555|
According to fitness experts, swimming torches the most calories over brief periods of time. But, over more extended periods, running is most likely to succeed for most calories burned. This is basically because few people can swim for a long time, but many people can run for a long time. However, to lose weight from any activity, it is crucial to stay in a calorie deficit. That is, while swimming or running, you need to burn more calories and consume less than that.
Fat Burning With Swimming Vs Running
According to the experts, there are a lot of variables to consider with burning fat. On top of everything, high-intensity interval training is one form an individual can guarantee that they are torching more calories. As a positive impact of HIIT, one could reduce body fat as well as belly fat. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) means short rushes of strenuous exercise accompanied by low-intensity restoration sessions. The research has shown that, although you exercise for a shorter period of time, this kind of activity contributes to related health benefits as doubled as much moderate-intensity exercise.
According to specialists in the field, you can train high-intensity interval training exercises with both swimming and running. And, as mentioned earlier, the total calories you torch depends on the power of the activity, which is connected undeviatingly to your heart rate. For instance, when you do sprints, you raise your heart rate to advanced ranges for brief periods of time. Therefore, making many sprints with short rest intervals can be highly advantageous for burning fat and calories. So, with regard to all suggestions and data provided by the studies, we see that swimming and running both can have similar impacts when it comes to fat loss.
When you do high-intensity interval training in swimming or running, these are things you may consider:
- The span of the workout.
- The intensity at which you’re training.
- How high you raise your heart rate and maintain it raised.
Best Swimming Strokes And Types of Running For Weight Loss
As we discuss many details through our article, we would leave a big blank if we do not discuss the best swimming strokes and running types that’d help shed weight. So, here’s a list of swimming strokes and forms of running that you would try for better results.
- Butterfly Stroke – Can be done with an average calorie burn of around 450 calories for 30 minutes of swimming.
- Freestyle Stroke – Burns about 300 calories for 30 minutes of swimming.
- Backstroke- The average calorie-burning of backstroke is about 250 calories for 30 minutes of swimming.
- Breaststroke – Has an average calorie burn of approximately 200 calories for 30 minutes of swimming.
- Interval Runs- These are short and powerful runs repeated numerous times with short breaks in between, which function your running power and pace.
- Hill Repeats- This type of run is similar to interval runs but done uphill. They train your running intensity and agility while promoting endurance.
Swimming Vs Running Comparison
|Higher calorie burn than swimming- By incorporating interval running and hill repeats, one could double the effectiveness of running with a higher calorie burn.||More comfortable on the joints- This is the key benefit of swimming when compared with running. If you have arthritis or osteoarthritis, swimming would be your best bet which is easier on your joints.|
|Starting is easier- Swimming requires a pool to get started and obviously training. But running only needs a good pair of running shoes, and you simply begin by walking.||Provides a total body workout- Swimming basically uses a lot of muscles in your body. This makes it a great total-body workout. Running, on the contrary, is excellent for your lower body. But, it does not affect your shoulders, arms, back, and chest muscles like swimming does.|
|It is a weight-bearing activity- Unlike swimming, running is a weight-bearing activity that allows a person to increase bone density.||Allows you to try different swimming strokes- You get the chance to rotate between swimming laps applying various strokes. And, you could do a total-body workout in the pool by combining endurance with ankle and wrist weights or an aqua belt.|
|You will get your dose of natural vitamin D- Running outdoors during the daytime enables you to get your amount of natural vitamin D.||A better choice for the people who recover from injuries- Mainly, if you are healing from lower-body injuries, swimming is better if you still want to lose weight.|
So, as you see, swimming and running are super-efficient calorie-burning exercises that help you reduce weight. But when it comes to ranking the most effective for calorie-burning, running for weight loss is a winner, achieving fewer marks than swimming. However, we need to emphasize the fact that choosing the best for you should be your sole preference, depending on your goals. Calorie-burning basically depends on the intensity, speed, and duration you are willing to put into a particular activity. And, when you incorporate activities like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and be on a calorie deficit with good dietary changes, you have the opportunity to reap the best results from swimming or running.
On that note, we would admire to hear from you regarding how you feel about our guidance given in this article. Don’t forget to drop us a comment down below and let us know what you prefer the most to lose weight- swimming vs running?
Sources and References
Harvard Health Publishing
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center