Archive for the tag - swimming

Is Swimming Better Exercise Than Running?

Dear Davey,

I used to run a lot, but I’ve recently taken up swimming which I really enjoy. However, I’m wondering which is a better workout? Swimming? Or running?

From,
Lucas

sexymaleswimmersHey Lucas,

When comparing swimming to running, there are a few big differences.

The first is convenience. For one, swimming requires a pool – and often a pool membership. If you’re traveling or on vacation, you might not have access to a lap pool. Second, swimming requires more preparation. In addition to showering before entering the pool, you’ll need to pack a bathing suit, towel, goggles, etc. Running, on the other hand, is much more convenient and accessible. You can do it on any street and only need a pair of sneakers.

In terms of calories, it really depends on intensity. If you run and swim with the same intensity, the caloric breakdown is quite similar; there’s not a huge difference between the two. Personally, I find it much easier to push myself on a treadmill versus swimming in a pool – but that is a matter of preference.

There are health risks involved in both running and swimming. Regardless of the exercise, there’s always the risk of injury. It’s important to consult with a physician before starting any routine. Having said that, swimming provides lower amounts of impact on the body’s joints. Because swimming is low impact, it’s a form of cardiovascular exercise often favored by the elderly and individuals with joint or knee issues.

Above and beyond these details, there’s another important variable to consider: enjoyment.¬†Looking forward to a workout is a huge motivating factor; if you enjoy your workout, you’re more likely to stick with it. And a good workout is a consistent workout.

In other words, if you prefer swimming to running, embrace it!

Love,
Davey

 

What’s Better: Swimming or Running?

Dear Davey,

I’m trying to get in better shape, and I was wondering which gives you a better cardio workout – swimming or running?

Thanks,
Luis

0627-ent-olympic-swimmers-pool_awHey Luis,

First of all, both swimming and running provide great workouts. And either is better than sitting on your butt watching television. However, there are some pretty big differences between the two types of cardio.

It’s important to note that comparing running to swimming can be a lot like comparing apples to oranges. They’re both very different – and the effectiveness of either workout can depend on a number of variables. For example, a University of Florida study found that swimmers burn 44% more calories when a pool is heated to 68 degrees Fahrenheit rather than 91 degrees. The speed at which you swim or run also has a big influence. As does any incline you might experience during your run. In other words, it’s not that simple.

However, there are a few things that are quite definitive. Swimming is low-impact, and so it’s a great option for people with joint issues. Swimming will also give your upper a body a good endurance workout (running does not), assuming that’s something you want.

When it comes to calories burned, running does come out on top – but again, it depends on all those previously mentioned variables. Here are some general guidelines for a 155-lb individual who is exercising for 30 minutes:

  • Moderate intensity swimming: 214 calories
  • Running at 5mph: 298 calories
  • Vigorous swimming: 344 calories
  • Running at 10mph: 632 calories

If you can hold a 10mph pace, then running is advantageous from a purely caloric perspective. But if you run at 5pmh and can swim at a vigorous pace, then swimming could be a better choice for burning calories and getting your heart pumping.

Personally, my favorite cardio workout is high intensity interval training wherein I alternate between jogging and sprinting for a set duration. It provides a ton of amazing benefits; it doesn’t take a lot of time, minimizes muscle mass loss and provides a huge metabolic boost that you won’t get from steady-pace cardio.

But at the end of the day, the best form of cardio is the cardio that you’ll stick with. Find what works for you!

Love,
Davey

When Good Knees Go Bad: 3 Effective Low-Impact Cardio Exercises.

No face? No problem.

Hi Davey,My knees can not handle high impact cardiovascular exercise like running, jogging or even stair climbing. I know that cardio is important, but what can you recommend that is low-impact and yet effective?

Confused,
Chris

Dear Chris,

Great question! Having nursed a knee injury just last summer, I can relate. And you’re absolutely correct: Cardio is important for everyone.

Here are three effective low-impact exercises that I’d recommend:

  1. Swimming. Swimming is phenomenal for all people, but especially beneficial for those individuals seeking a low (or no) impact exercise. Whereas running a treadmill will pound your knees, swimming involves much smoother movements. You weigh 1/10th of your land weight in water, so a great deal of stress is taken off of your joints. A 155lb person could expect to burn 214 calories after 30 minutes of moderate swimming.
  2. Rowing. I’m a huge fan of rowing – and it is very gentle on the knees. Much like swimming, the movement is fluid and not abrupt. I enjoy rowing sprints – 90 seconds of all out rowing followed by 45 seconds of rest for 15 minutes. If you’d rather keep things easier, try going at a moderate pace for 90 seconds and then a slower pace for 60 seconds. a 155lb person would burn 246 calories after 30 minutes of moderate rowing.
  3. Elliptical. If you don’t have access to a pool or a rowing machine, the elliptical is a good alternative. Because of the machine’s structure, the movement is low impact and fluid – and a 155lb person can burn 400 calories after 30 minutes of exercise.

You can also give cycling, walking, in-line skating and cross-country skiing a try. Whatever your interests, you should be able to find a low-impact cardio program that suits your needs.

Any other suggestions or questions? Ask away in the comments below!

Best Cardio Exercises for Losing Weight.

When it comes to releasing weight, not all cardio exercises are created equal.

First, it’s important to understand how weight is released from the body. Weight release happens only when there is a calorie deficit; that is, more calories are used by the body than are taken in through food consumption.

The following exercises burn a tremendous amount of calories, and thus, are more helpful in creating the necessary calorie deficit that results in weight release:

  • Step Aerobics. Real men (and women) aren’t afraid of step classes. In a heart-pumping half hour, you can burn 400 calories.
  • Swimming. This is my favorite cardio exercise – I’ve recently incorporated it into my weekly routine. It’s low-impact on joints and high-impact on calories. If you have joint or knee trouble, this may be the route for you. You can burn 400 calories in a half hour doing the breast stroke.
  • Bicycling. Depending on the intensity and the course, you can burn 250 – 500 calories in 30 minutes. That’s not bad for an exercise that you can perform while sitting on you butt.
  • Running. Though higher-impact and certainly not for the faint of heart, running literally incinerates calories. In 30 minutes, I can burn through a whopping 600 calories.
  • Walking. Running isn’t for everyone. If you enjoy moving at a slower pace, walking may be a better fit. A 145-lb person typically uses 180 calories in 30-minutes of walking. Walk a hilly course for an extra challenge.
  • Jumping rope, sprinting and spinning oh my! These exercises are super high intensity. Try jumping rope for 15 or 20 minutes and you’ll torch nearly 200 calories.

Of course, the truly best cardio exercise for losing weight is the cardio exercise that you’ll perform regularly. Find something that you love – or at least like – and commit to doing it regularly. Know that it takes time, and be willing to put in the energy to achieve your weight release goals.