Running vs. Swimming – which is best for weight-loss?

While running and swimming aren’t necessarily suited for everyone, they’re both excellent workouts that offer value to cardiovascular health, respiratory strength, disease prevention and calorie burn homepage image.

Both running and swimming offer unique health benefits. Swimming offers a great calories burn as moving through the water creates extra resistance, which forces you to use your muscles more; whereas running provides a varied exercise option with only a pair of shoes required.

Here are the benefits of both exercises.

Benefits of swimming

Swimming tones your upper body, lower body, and core at the same time, giving you a full-body workout and more overall muscle definition. For example, breaststroke and butterfly work your shoulders, arms, and chest, while back stroke strengthens your back, abs, and quads.

When you’re swimming, you’re working mostly your lower body, which includes your glutes, hamstrings, calves and quadriceps. However, swimming also works your upper body muscles more than running does. Your arms and other upper body muscles are used to pull your body though the water, building upper-body strength.

Another plus to swimming is the water resistance. Water resistance is stronger than the wind resistance that comes with running. You can get consistent resistance if you swim in the pool. Running offers unpredictable resistance and the amounts of calories you burn is affected by the resistance. Water also provides support for painful joints and doesn’t load them to the same degree that running does.

Benefits of running

Running is great for weight loss and can be performed anywhere and anytime. You can run outdoors or on a treadmill and don’t need much skill to do so! You can also alter the difficulty of your workout by changing speed, running up-hill or increasing the inclination on the treadmill.
Since running is a weight bearing activity, it also helps to improve the strength of both muscles and bones.

Read  Get fit and make exercise a family affair

Which is better for weight loss?

Provided you’re on the right track with your diet, both running and swimming are good weight loss choices. Because swimming involves more muscle mass and includes more resistance, it does require more of a cardiac effort than running. That said, the BEST choice is the one that you enjoy, and more importantly, stick to. If you want a full-body workout with consistent conditions, swimming is the best option. If you like a change in terrain and want to improve your bone strength, running is the better choice. Either way, adding physical activity to your life is a positive step in healthy living.