Does Swimming Burn The Most Calories?

If you workout at Liv Fitness in Tracy, CA, you probably are active outside the gym. You may go swimming, biking, running, or hiking and probably wonder which one burns the most calories. It’s not an easy question to answer, since that depends on several factors. How fast is your pace and how intensely are you exercising? How long are you exercising?

Many people consider running the top calorie burner.

Running is an intense activity that pushes the body to the limit. However, you can only run at peak intensity for so long. You can swim far longer. Even though running burns about 60% more calories than casual swimming, you can continue casual swimming far longer than running at peak performance. Does it burn more calories per hour? No, but you can swim far longer without getting exhausted.

Swimming is a good cardio exercise that is easy on the joints.

If your knees hurt every time you run, take note. Running is a high-impact sport that takes its toll on the joints. Swimming, on the other hand, is low impact. It’s especially good for people who are overweight or those with joint issues. Your body is more buoyant in the water so there’s far less pressure on the joints. The water also provides more resistance than exercising on dry land does, so you’ll burn more calories if you do traditional calisthenics in the water. Walking and attempting to run in water can burn even more calories than the dry land counterparts.

You’ll burn calories as you build muscle tissue.

Because of the water resistance, you’re building muscle. After all, that’s what strength training is. It’s resistance training. On dry land, the weight of the dumbbells, barbells, or your body goes against the force of gravity. In the water, it’s against the water resistance. Unlike running, which burns both muscle and fat tissue, you build muscle tissue when swimming. The more muscle tissue you have, the higher your metabolism, since muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain than fat tissue does. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even when you’re sleeping.

  • One study of middle-aged women showed that spending three times a week swimming for 60 minutes burned substantial weight. More weight loss was from fat loss. It was primarily from the hip and waist area.
  • Another exercise that burns fat and builds muscle tissue is resistance training—weight lifting or bodyweight exercises. You can make it a high intensity interval workout to burn extra calories.
  • Swimming is a full-body exercise, which is another reason it burns a lot of calories. It also works all the muscles in the body. If you swim at top speed, it burns as many calories as running.
  • You can use swimming as an alternate exercise on your days away from the gym. It increases circulation. If you’ve had an intense day at the gym, use it as a recovery exercise the next day.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness

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