Exercise Rivals: Hiking Versus Swimming

You may have heard the phrase “Any exercise is good exercise”. While this statement is true, there are some exercises that are better for you than others. With that in mind, today I wanted to look at the differences between Hiking and Swimming.


Hiking is a great form of exercise for various reasons. First of all, you get to be outdoors with beautiful Mother Nature. It is also great for toning your entire body and helps build endurance. Hiking is also great for your heart, lungs, blood vessels, muscle strength, bone density, and even sleeping better.

It also helps reduce the risk of many health issues such as heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and triglycerides, depression, and even early death. Studies have shown that someone who is active for seven hours a week has a 40 percent lower chance of dying early than someone active for less than 30 minutes a week! It also helps to decrease anxiety! Scientists have also proven that just being outdoors has a positive effect on our mood and helps to lower stress. Talk about a health packed activity!
Sadly, hiking has a few downsides for those with knee, leg, ankle, or joint problems. Hiking can be hard on your body and hiking too much can make these kinds of issues much worse. Even with the right hiking shoes, you still run the risk of putting too much stress on your body and worsening your condition. So don’t overdo it if you have any injuries!


It has been proven time and time again that swimming is the best full body workout. Swimming works every muscle in your entire body. It’s also very low-impact if you have any joint or bone problems, because the buoyancy of the water means you put less strain on your joints. Many people can’t run due to knee or ankle problems but still want to stay active and in shape.

Swimming can be beneficial for a broad range of ages and abilities: the youngest of the young to the oldest of the old. Swimming has also been found to help pregnant women and those at any athletic level, especially fitness buffs. Swimming positively affects physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It’s no wonder that physicians, physical therapists, exercise physiologists, and fitness coaches alike applaud swimming as one of the best ways to stay in shape. Swimming is the ultimate all-in-one fitness package, working most muscles in the body in a variety of ways with every stroke. When strokes are performed correctly, the muscles lengthen and increase in flexibility.
Swimming tends to burn more calories faster than other exercises like hiking (although it does depend on how fast you swim). That is another reason many people choose swimming over other workouts.
Of course, you can always have the best of both worlds and alternate swimming and hiking every other day! That is the best option if your body can handle both exercises. Experts say it’s good to switch up your exercise routine, because if you do the same thing day after day your body eventually hits a plateau, which defeats the purpose of getting in shape and staying healthy!

Tell Us!

Which is your favorite exercise: swimming or hiking? And why? Tell us in the comment section below!

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