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Swimming vs Running

As two great activities for fitness and weight loss, swimming and running both come with their different advantages. If you are looking to keep active and stay fit then both of these sports will do the trick. They are both extremely popular and equally right for you, depending on what you are looking for. You should remember to choose the one that you enjoy most and that you feel will help you achieve your goals.

When trying to decide between swimming vs running, it is important to understand the difference between the two and also the swimming benefits and swimming tips, as well as running tips, to make sure you get the most out of each sport. Reading through our information on running for beginners and swimming for beginners should provide you with a better idea on the two fitness activities.

How is swimming good for you?

As a water-based form of exercise, swimming reduces the stress on your joints due to the way water makes your body lighter. The resistance of the water also is greater than that of air, so when practising different types of strokes you are working more on toning your muscles than it might seem. Despite burning less calories, swimming will still burn a significant amount that would be more than walking or weight-lifting. Both these exercises will focus on working your spine, however, swimming allows you to train your body as a whole as the kicking actions of your legs and pulling actions of your arms work together efficiently.

How is running good for you?

As a land-based exercise, running can be a high-impact workout that stimulates bone growth and increases your heart rate but you are more vulnerable to running injuries due to the stress on your joints. Compared to swimming, an hour session of running will burn considerable more calories at a high-intensity speed, but a light jog for the same duration will burn approximately the same amount as a swimming session. Similar to swimming, your spine will be the main point of muscle action, followed by your legs which will receive specific attention. During running, your upper body contributes to the work but doesn’t receive the benefits as it would in swimming.

 

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Running tips

 

Woman running in autumn fall forest

 Running tips

  • Use races as sources of motivation. A regular program of running is good but races are the goals that you work to achieve.
  • A mile burns approximately 100 calories, therefore every mile you do counts whether its during a warm-up or on an easy day. Running slow and long is the key to building your endurance allowing you to run faster.
  • Take regular rest days to allow your body to recover. This is important if you begin to feel any injuries – it is better to rest for a few days than to do more damage.
  • To make your body stronger try running up hills. I’s a form of resistance training to force your body to use new muscles and build those of your calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
  • A training partner is good company and motivation. If they are good they will spur you on when you are tired and make you run on the mornings when its cold and raining.
  • When you get a stitch – breathe deep and push all the air out of your abdomen. This is to open up the diaphragm, where the stitch occurs.

Good form for running

Look Ahead

You can see what is in front of you (i.e obstacles) but it also means your body is upright allowing you to breathe deep and fill your lungs.

Relax!

When running, let your jaw hang loose, don’t have any extra tension in your shoulders by bunching them up, and occasionally shake out your hands and arms. All your energy should be focused on your legs to propel you forward not on the tension in other body parts.

Short, light steps

Instead of wasting energy moving up and down you should concentrate on taking short, light steps. You should not bounce when you run as your feet have to absorb the shock of the floor and you will feel tired more easily.

Land mid-foot when you run

Most people agree that you should land on the middle of your foot and then roll through onto your toes. Landing on the heels is bad for your forward momentum and landing on your toes leads to bouncing.