Exercise Rivals: Running Versus Swimming.

The Sharks versus the Jets.  Beavers versus Ducks. Montagues versus Capulets.
Our society loves rivalries.

Underwater Audio is rather loyal to our swimmer base, but we know that lots of runners out there love our iPod.  So we thought we would do a classic comparison between our two favorite sports: Running versus Swimming.


Burning Calories:

Burning calories is never an exact science. Someone who weighs 130 pounds can do the same work out as someone who weighs 190 pounds and the second person will burn more calories. This means giving specific numbers for how many calories burned is not really helpful.  When comparing swimming to running at the same medium level effort, you find that you can burn more calories running than swimming.
Yet, if you are planning to intensify your work out to burn even more calories, that is more easily done with a swim than a run.  Strokes vary in calories burned from the least in freestyle to the most being the butterfly. You can change your stroke or kick and immediately increase your calories burned.  Intensifying a run usually requires help from mother nature in the shape of hills or gusty winds.

Muscle Use:

Both swimming and running can lead to muscle development.  If you are in a rut with your swim and your kick is holding you back, try running and building up your leg muscles. It could help you shatter your plateau.  However, if you want to have a whole body work out, you should consider swimming.
Running’s four main muscles are all located in the
legs. Swimming’s main muscles range from your shoulders, to your back, to the legs.  While runners are losing more calories, swimmers bodies get more toned.  If you really want to work on your abs, do the freestyle and the backstroke, both strokes heavily rely on the obliques while you shift from one side to the other.

Avoiding Injury and body recovery:

If you are swimming exclusively, it is possible that you could have rotator cuff problems. For runners, they develop knee injuries. No exercise is without the potential injuries. When training for a triathlon, “You’re more likely to hurt yourself running and less likely to get hurt swimming.”
Another benefit that swimming gives you is that it helps your body recover.  Something to do with water resistance, the laying down shape of your body, and how you use your muscles all combine to make swimming the best recovery option. So if you are looking to feel better after a run, you should jump into the pool and swim a bit. It will help your muscles recover up to 14% faster!

Swimming Versus Running Revisited:

So what does this all mean?  Well if you are looking to lose weight fast, the best way to go is running. You burn more calories.  If you want to work on toning your legs, once again swimming is the best choice.  If you are struggling in a swim plateau or your shoulder is hurting, it is better to lace up some running shoes than dive into the pool again.
Instead, if you are wanting an overall toned body, try taking a dip in the pool. If your joints are hurting, put on your goggles and let your body recover from the stress it has been in.  Which is better? Well that is up to you and what want from your exercise!
What exercise makes you feel better? Which one do you use to manage your weight loss goals?

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