Whether you decide to run or swim, they both help you lose weight and enhance cardio fitness. It’s just the advantages of swimming outweigh those of running for a lot of reasons.
What is so good about Pilates?
Resistance effect in water – strengthens the body
Keeps blood pressure – good cardiovascular workout without straining the heart.
Weightlessness of water – no stress on the joints, lengthens the spine
A great natural advantage to swimming is your resistance effect. Water is 1000 times more dense than air, so when you swim, it is like weight training without the dumbbells. The water itself is the weight training.
You get a full body workout once you swim that puts little strain on your joints. Including the legs, core, the upper and lower back, Animal-Pros, the arms, chest and shoulders.
Exactly like weight training, swimming engages and tones muscle due to the resistance. Although running is a fantastic cardio workout, it does little to improve a dynamic muscular body.
Burns the Calories
A moderate-intensity workout classifies keeping your heart-rate at 50-70 % of maximum heart rate.
A rigorous workout runs at 70-85 % maximum heart-rate. Following an intensive 30 minute breaststroke swim, you can burn up to 300 calories. This can vary based on your weight. The heavier you are, the more calories you burn. By burning 500 calories more than you consume each day, you can lose a pound of fat a week. Okay, this doesn’t sound much. After a month you can lose about 4-5 pounds – nearly half a stone. Multiply that by 6 months and you’ve lost 2 stone of body fat.
Why Swimming helps the Heart Work More Efficiently?
When the body is in an upright position (e.g. when run or jump),the heart has to work hard to pump blood and oxygen to and from the lower extremities. This increase demand on the heart may lead to spikes in blood pressure – not good for the heart.
The American College of Sports Medicine says: ‘Swimming works the cardiovascular system without inducing significant increases in blood pressure.’ Because the body is in a flat position whilst swimming, the heart does need to work as hard. There is almost no gravity involved, so the blood pressure remains down.
The Weightlessness of Water
Yet another advantage swimming has over jogging, is the weightlessness effect in water. At the end of every stroke – breast stroke, freestyle etc, your body stretches out. Because the water retains your body upward, it enables you to stretch out whilst in motion. The backbone can then lengthen, elongating the openings between the vertebrae.
Physiotherapists encourage patients with disc problems to swim because of this spine lengthening effect. It takes pressure off the discs.
Benefits and Risks of Running
Running generally has great benefits.
The dangers of long distance running without a supervised trainer needs consideration however. They can advice you on nutrition, rest and good running technique. For safety reasons:- A medical check to keep an eye out for heart ailments, bio mechanical issues or other risk factors are a must.
It makes the body produce excessive amounts of cortisol to reduce swelling. The advice to runners is to increase vitamin C, get plenty of sleep and prevent outside stresses. This aids recuperation and boosts immunity.
To Sum Up
I don’t want to put runners off what they obviously love doing. It is health benefits are undeniable. However, long distance running does put tremendous strains on the ankle, hip and knee joints.
Swimming has pluses for strength, weight loss, low joint strain and cardiovascular endurance.
There’s no negative points about swimming besides the necessity to learn how to swim. It can be an issue for many who were not introduced to the water from a young age. I say, it’s never too late to learn. Swimming lessons are not expensive and there are plenty of instructors pool side whatever venue you choose.