Swimming Vs. Running – Which Burns More Fat?
Which burns more fat, swimming or running? Both swimming and running are great exercises for anyone looking to stay active or get in shape. Swimming is a low-impact cardiovascular exercise that strengthens the entire body while running focuses on building your lower body strength. If you’re trying to decide which of these exercises is right for you, we’re here to help. Let’s figure out whether running or swimming offers more health benefits.
First, how do we burn fat through exercise?
When we eat or drink, the calories we consume either get used to fuel our bodies or get stored as fat cells. When we exercise, our body utilizes the fuel from recent meals and the fuel stored as energy in our fat cells. As you increase your activity levels, you will burns more fat and calories.
What is a calorie?
A calorie is a unit of measurement. Scientifically, a calorie is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius. Essentially, calories are how we measure energy.
Our bodies need calories to survive. A somewhat active person between 20 and 30 years old requires at least 2,000 calories just to continue living.
Does running or swimming burns more fat and calories?
First, it is essential to note that the more comfortable you become with a particular movement, the more efficient your body becomes. This means that if you have been a swimmer your entire life, your body will more easily be able to swim. So, if you were to complete the same number of swimming laps, in the same amount of time, as someone who is a 10k runner, your body would burn fewer calories. There are many other reasons your response to a particular exercise could elicit a different result, including your activity level, muscle mass, etc.
Since swimmers have to fight water resistance, swimming is typically seen as the exercise that requires the most energy and therefore burns the most calories and fat, but only if the swimming is done at the same intensity as the running. Since swimming at such a high intensity for such a long time is unrealistic for most people, it is widely believed that realistically, running and swimming have similar fat-burning potential.
Which is better for overall health?
However, it could be argued that swimming is still the overall better workout. Swimming is a full-body workout that is low-impact and easy on your joints. It also has a greater impact on cardiovascular health because of water resistance. It simply takes more effort for your arm to push through water than it takes for you to run through the air. Swimming also is best for increasing muscle mass throughout your entire body. Increasing muscle mass helps keep your body functioning as you age so you can remain active in the long run.
While one of these exercises technically burns more fat and calories, both are great options. And as most fitness experts say, the best exercise is the one that you’ll consistently do. So, if swimming is something you enjoy, do that. If you would prefer to run, try that instead.