Swimming vs. Running: Q&A

Swimming and running.  Sounds like the making of a triathlete.  Any activity that you like and can stick with is the best one for you to do.  If you enjoy it you are more likely to do it, but one reader wanted to know how swimming and running compared to each other.  Here is the question:

I’m wondering how much swimming equates to how much running. I’d love to run but I look like a duck!

Swimming is actually a great activity for runners to do because it is a wonderful upper body activity.  It works muscles that you barely touch as a runner.  So if you are a runner, consider slipping in some swimming.  Obviously, both activities can get you where you want to go health wise, but one of them is the king calorie burner.  You guessed it, running.   Here is how the two compare as far as calories burned is concerned if I were to do 1 hour of each.  You can see how many calories your body will burn using a lot of different activities here.

Jason runs moderately for one hour:  839 calories

Jason swims moderately for one hour: 508 calories

Now if you hate running and don’t want to do it, 508 calories is way more than not doing any running or exercise at all.  About six and a half days of this would take off a pound of fat if you ate right.  We always talk about running around here so I am going to post some of the benefits of swimming for us:

  • Swimming builds endurance
  • Swimming builds cardiovascular strength
  • Swimming builds muscular strength

The only thing that swimming is not the best at sometimes is losing a lot of weight.  The water has a cooling effect on the body and burning calories takes a heat exchange.  To learn more about swimming check the resources below:

  • For more information regarding activity and the weight loss/healthy lifestyle, subscribe HERE.

Calorie burners: swim and run

More benefits of swimming

18 Responses to “Swimming vs. Running: Q&A”

  1. January 21, 2009 at 5:28 am

    I had once wondered the same thing myself. Of course, if I’m going to be a triathlete as I hope to be some day, I’m going to add swimming to my repertoire. For now, I think I will stick with trying to run faster than the day before. Thanks for this informative post.

  2. January 21, 2009 at 5:31 am

    I think it’s essential to mix-up your routine and cross-train. I agree with you that if you’re not a runner, the calories you burn from swimming for an hour is nothing to sneeze at!

    Running can be hard on your joints, and swimming is probably the opposite since there is no joint impact at all.

    Now all I have to do is move to a climate where I can swim outside all year long! 😉 Or at least a facility that has an indoor pool.

    Hmmm, I like the moving idea better…

    • 4 run4change
      January 21, 2009 at 6:07 am

      Oh totally, I think I am going to move to the virgin islands in tomorrow so that I can just swim out in the ocean 🙂 Changing it up and doing what you like is the key.

  3. 5 robfitness
    January 21, 2009 at 10:21 am

    What timing on the post. As you know I am training for my triathlon and today I just adding swimming to my training program. Like my post mentioned, I su**ed at it. I though I would do good because I love swimming but like you said it is hard and take a lot of strength and endurance to do it and it can add the same as well, in time I guess. I am not giving up at it and like all things you really have to train and practice at it to be good. Thank God I have 12 weeks to train.

    I did love the run today though, A LOT 🙂 It felt good being out there and just going. It was an awesome feeling and accomplishment once I completed my little run. Thanks for your e-mail and your suggestions. They help make it easier, along with your post on running.

    Take it easy & have an awesome day.

    • 6 run4change
      January 21, 2009 at 10:34 am

      Great job man on the swimming. I just love to swim and have found that when you do it for exercise, it is serious exercise 🙂 I don’t belong to a club now so have no access. Thanks for your comment

  4. January 21, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Great info you have here. Very useful. thanks.

  5. 9 Kristie
    January 21, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Wow, great article and very informative. I’ve been a lifetime swimmer and I just love it.

  6. 10 Max
    January 21, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Excellent post! Keep ’em coming!

    Running does burn more calories than swimming but it’s still up to you. You may like to swim more that run so go for it. What matters is that you love what you’re doing and all those good things are just side benefits – isn’t that a great thing? Doing something you love and end up fit and happy because of it?

  7. January 21, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Hey, why not do BOTH? That’s my angle!

    Both exercises are so beneficial and truly compliment one another. Plus, us 40-somethings can’t run as much as we used to, so swimming and biking are GREAT cross-training activities!

    Good post.

  8. January 21, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    I think it is up to debate which burns more calories. That all depends on the level of intensity in the exercise. For example, someone my weight running at 6 mph burns the same calories as someone doing the breaststroke for an hour. (To be fair, you did the comparison as if both exercises are performed with the same intensity.) If someone is a good swimmer and really enjoys it, it is likely they will burn more calories swimming, but the flipside is also true too. Interestingly enough, one of your links indicates that “swimming almost always burns more calories than running does.” I hope you don’t take this as an argument, I am just trying to present a different point of view.

    • 14 run4change
      January 21, 2009 at 7:10 pm

      Hey South Beach. No problem. Not taking it the wrong way at all. In fact, that is why I put those links in there. So that they could present the swimming side better than I could because I have never really done much swimming for exercise. So your comment is extremely welcome and I appreciate you contribution. THere is always to sides, and that it is a good thing. As one of the commentators just said, Do BOTH.

      Anyway, Thanks a lot for presenting another side. We all benefit that way. Thanks again

  9. 15 myweightylossjourney
    January 22, 2009 at 1:13 am

    Thanks so much for this post. I’m a swimmer, and I’m definitely not a runner. I hate running. It really hurts. It hurts my legs and my lungs. On the other hand, I can swim for an hour (like tonight) and my legs don’t hurt, and neither do my lungs. But I’m still tired. I suppose I’m fortunate enough to have learnt to swim before I could walk, so it’s second nature to me. I just need to get over this shoulder injury that I got earlier in the week….
    Thanks again!

    • 16 run4change
      January 22, 2009 at 5:28 am

      YOu are blessed to have found an activity you love. THat is what counts the most. Congratulations on that. I am sorry for your shoulder. That must be a real bummer. Swim a mile for me now ok 🙂

  10. January 28, 2009 at 11:09 am

    I was just told I wasn’t allowed to run for 2 months. Thanks for your article as it helped me figure out how much more swimming I’ll have to do to make up the deficit.

    • 18 run4change
      January 28, 2009 at 11:28 am

      I am glad that the post helped you out and thanks a lot for stopping by to leave a comment. Enjoy the rest of the blog if you want too. I love to swim, but have never done it for exercise sake.

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