The Benefits Of Swimming & Running | Cardio Workout

Regular exercise is simply beneficial to us and we all know it. An abundance of health benefits is associated with regular exercise and with leading a healthy lifestyle such as weight control, improved cardiovascular condition, strengthening of bones and muscles, and just feeling better and functioning to the fullest. In addition, exercising and getting yourself involved in a variety of physical activities is both fun and rewarding. However, when it comes down to the benefits of cardiovascular health, are some forms of exercise better than others?


Some of you may be avid swimmers and include a regular pool exercise as a part of your healthy routine. On the flip side, some of you may only come into contact with water through the awesome Myprotein water bottle you carry around to stay hydrated and opt out for running and other activities rather than swimming. Let’s look into these two types of physical exercise and try to see if one may benefit your physique more than the other.

cardio affects muscle mass


Swimming is an amazing type of exercise if you’re looking for something to keep you active, workout your entire body, and do all of that in a short amount of time. Swimming requires pretty much every muscle in your body to engage. In effect, an intense swimming session can leave your body fatigued the next day as much as a good iron session in the gym. If you’re looking for maximizing muscle strength and power, swimming is probably not your best exercise option. However, swimming makes an amazing type of cardio that not only enhances your fat burning by utilizing muscles in the whole body but also builds up your endurance, improves your lung capacity, and just overall improves your fitness.


One of the big benefits of swimming is the fact that it is pretty much no impact exercise. During swimming, you are putting very minimal strains on your joints and muscles. The very low level of physical impact of swimming would be very suitable for someone who is limited by certain injuries or limitations in the gym. If you compare swimming to jumping rope, for example, the differences in the physical impact are very clear as constant jumping will fatigue your ankles, calves, and impact your joints much more than swimming.


In terms of the calories burned during swimming, the results will vary based on your age, weight, current physical level, and many other factors. Nevertheless, approximately a 155lb person can burn around 560 calories during an hour of light to moderate freestyle swimming session. When we take into consideration the physical benefits associated with swimming, incorporating some pool time in your weekly fitness regime is definitely a great idea. But how does it compare to running in terms of fitness?


Many people all around the world get their sneakers on and jog around to get some daily exercise in their routines. Running can range from very light to moderate intensity on a treadmill in your local gym to a hardcore cross country workout outdoors. Jogging is an amazing and quick way to burn some extra calories and improve your cardiovascular shape at the same time. In addition, the fat and calorie burning effects of various types of running exercises can vary and help your physical transformation in many different ways. For example, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has been shown to burn slightly more fat in comparison to a regular run at a constant speed.


Besides the fat loss efficiency of HIIT, the interval training increases overall aerobic and anaerobic fitness, skeletal muscle capacity for fat oxidation, as well as insulin sensitivity. A recent study compared the fat loss effects of a 15-week-long program. A group of women was doing HIIT for 20 minutes three times per week in comparison to another group that exercised doing steady cycling for 40 minutes. The HIIT group experienced much greater loss of subcutaneous fat as well as an increase in insulin sensitivity.


Another benefit to running is that you don’t need any special equipment, nor a membership to a pool. If your gym has a pool area that’s great! However, if getting to swim a few laps requires an extra cost each month and getting out of your way to get a workout in, it might be better to invest in an extra pair of running shoes instead.

athlete motivation

To swim, or to run?

When comparing these two amazing and simple types of exercises, it is important to keep in mind that your body adapts to an exercise when no change to the training has been made over a period of time. Swimming is much better in terms of the overall physical wear it has on your body, whereas running under certain conditions can have a much greater and faster impact on losing weight and fat. One of the major considerations when selecting one of these two exercises is your personal goal and what you want to accomplish. If you’re after a rapid fat loss and getting in shape for your friend’s pool party next month – running might get you there faster. If you’re more into slower pace cardio that will improve your health and help you shed some extra pounds long term – getting a new pair of swimming trunks may not be a bad idea.


We love all types of exercise at Myprotein and our winner today would probably be running for its variety of types, intensity options, versatility in terms of doing the exercise and other factors. In terms of calories burned, running at about a 9 min mile pace, a 155lb individual would burn approximately 770 calories in an hour which is fairly comparable to 560 calories burned while swimming. Running is a great way to start or finish your day off, cool down after a tough workout, or just clear your head while taking a jog in the park after work. Even though both of these types of exercises are amazing and will greatly benefit your fitness, it’s up to you and your personal preference to add these exercises to your workout regime. Whether you add a pair of sneakers or swimming trunks to your gym bag, we’re sure that either choice will help you smash your goals like there is no tomorrow.

Vojtech Velecky

Vojtech Velecky

Writer and expert

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