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Swimming vs Running

Posted in General Health 20 Mar, 2015

Should you be putting on your running shoes or your swimming goggles? Both are popular and great ways of keeping fit, but which one is more suited to you? This blog will look at benefits of both exercises and the effects they can have on your body.

Do you burn more calories swimming or running?

This is a much debated topic, with the common perception being that swimming is a full body workout, so therefore more calories must be burned. However, in a report conducted at Harvard, it was stated that a "155-pound adult burns 744 calories running for 1 hour at a pace of 6 miles per hour, but only burns 372 calories swimming the breaststroke for 30 minutes. If you boost your swimming duration to 1 hour, you'll burn the same amount of calories – 744 -- as you would running 6 miles per hour for the same duration."

Therefore, whilst swimming offers many great benefits, such as a 'full body' cardio workout, from this study we can see that it appears not to offer any additional calorie burn.

Can swimming and running affect my asthma?

Along with the great health benefits that running provides, unfortunately, it is also one of the biggest triggers for asthma. Dr Samantha Walker, director of research and policy at Asthma UK, states that: "Two-thirds of people with asthma tell us that pollution makes their asthma worse. The combination of air pollution and exercise increases this further. This could be because you usually inhale more air and breathe it more deeply into your lungs during aerobic activity – often through your mouth instead of your nose, which would normally filter airborne pollution particles."

However, this doesn't need to be a reason to stop running. In fact, a staggering 25% of the 2012 Olympic Great Britain team suffered from asthma. Putting a running regime together and taking the right precautions means you can still safely run.

On the other hand, swimming can actually help those that are suffering with asthma. The warm humid air that tends to arise in swimming pools can help make breathing easier for asthmatics.

Ultimately, both running and swimming provide many health benefits in their own ways. A lot will also come down to each individual and how much energy they exert during their exercises.

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