Swimming or running? Having to prioritize between the two can be quite a daunting task. While swimming has its loyal followers, one cannot ignore the health benefits of running either. In fact, swimming and running are like two faces of the same coin. What is suitable for one may not be an ideal choice for another. While swimming may be helpful for some, others might benefit from running. Following the mad rush does not make any sense. Know what are your requirements, strengths, and weaknesses and then choose between the two.
This article is an attempt to clear your confusion and thus, help you choose between the two.
- Injury: Running and swimming can both result in an injury. However, running is more intense. Thus, chances and frequency of an injury (muscle cramps, ligament tear, sprain or fracture) are slightly more in the case of running. In comparison, swimming is less strenuous. There is less probability of a sprain or a fracture in swimming.
- Body workout: If you are looking for a complete body workout, swimming is what the doctors have just advised. The different strokes in swimming ensure maximum muscular movements. Every part of your body, from head toe, are involved in swimming. Running, however, is not a complete body workout.
- Joint problems: For people with joint problems or associated conditions such as arthritis (especially Rheumatoid Arthritis), running might be highly uncomfortable and risky, aggravating the problems further. Under such circumstances, swimming comes as a much-needed breather. Not only is it safe, but also comfortable (people with severe arthritis should, however, consult the doctor before swimming). Swimming is an excellent exercise for improving the motor skills and also building on the core strength.
- Calories burned: Finally some good news for the runners. If you are looking for a high-calorie burnout (where you have to sweat it out literally), running is what you just need. Swimming also helps to burn the calories, but running has a slightly higher impact. As per a survey, you burn close to 700 calories by running for seven miles per hour. Surprising, you burn only 550 calories (per hour) by swimming 50 yards per minute.
- Bone health: If swimming is good for the joints, running is important for your bones. Running plays a pivotal role in improving and increasing the bone density in a person.
- Hormonal effect: Swimming or running both are believed to improve your cognitive abilities. Endorphins, which are commonly known as the ‘feel good’ hormone and is known to lift your spirits. They enhance your mood like never before.
Both swimming and running come with their own sets of merits and demerits. Choosing between the two can be an uphill task. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Physiotherapist.