top of page

Swimming vs Running | Muscle Building and Weight Loss



Swimming vs Running


Swimming vs Running

When it comes to shedding those extra pounds and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the age-old debate between swimming and running continues. Both activities offer numerous benefits, but which one is more effective for weight loss? In this blog post, we'll dive into the pool and hit the pavement to explore the merits of swimming and running in the quest for a leaner, healthier you.


If this post inspires you to want to jump into swimming, join our Masters Swim Program or Adult Swim Lessons.



Should You Swim or Hit the Pavement Running

  1. Calorie Burn:

  • Running: Running is a high-impact cardiovascular exercise that can burn a significant number of calories. The exact number varies depending on factors like speed, duration, and body weight.

  • Swimming: Swimming is a full-body workout that engages multiple muscle groups. While the calorie burn might be slightly lower compared to running, the buoyancy of water reduces impact on joints, allowing for longer and more sustainable workouts.

  1. Impact on Joints:

  • Running: The repetitive impact of running can put stress on joints, particularly the knees and ankles. This may be a concern for individuals with joint issues or those prone to injuries.

  • Swimming: The buoyancy of water in swimming reduces the impact on joints, making it an ideal exercise for individuals with joint pain or arthritis. It provides a low-impact option for effective cardiovascular exercise.

  1. Muscle Engagement:

  • Running: While running primarily engages the lower body muscles, it also requires a strong core for stability. It is an effective way to tone leg muscles and improve cardiovascular health.

  • Swimming: Swimming involves a wide range of muscles, including those in the arms, legs, and core. Different strokes target various muscle groups, leading to overall muscle toning and increased strength.

  1. Variety in Workouts:

  • Running: Although running can be done in different environments, such as trails, roads, or treadmills, the basic motion remains the same. Variations in terrain can add some diversity to the workout.

  • Swimming: Swimming offers a variety of strokes (freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly), each targeting different muscles. This variety can make workouts more interesting and prevent boredom.

  1. Consistency and Longevity:

  • Running: While running is easily accessible and requires minimal equipment, the impact on joints can limit the longevity of the activity for some individuals.

  • Swimming: The low-impact nature of swimming makes it a sustainable exercise for people of various ages. It allows for consistent training over the long term without the same risk of overuse injuries.




In the battle of swimming vs. running for weight loss, both activities have their merits. Running is a high-impact, calorie-burning exercise that can be convenient and accessible. On the other hand, swimming offers a low-impact, full-body workout that can be more sustainable in the long run, especially for individuals with joint concerns. The key is to choose the activity that aligns with your preferences, fitness level, and any existing health considerations. Whether you're hitting the pavement or diving into the pool, the most important factor is finding an exercise routine that you enjoy and can stick with for the long term.

1 view0 comments
bottom of page