A Grapplearts reader writes:
Q: “If you only had time for one cardio excercise which would you choose: swimming or running?”
A: Swimming and running are both awesome exercises, and both have their pros and cons.
The biggest benefit of swimming is that it is a great whole-body exercise which is relatively easy on the body. The constant pounding from running, however, can take its toll on your joints, especially if you are 200 lbs or more. Some people turn this argument around and say that running, as a weight-bearing exercise, likely strengthens bones more than swimming does.
A downside of swimming is that you need a pool (or lake, or ocean) to do it, whereas you can run just about anywhere. When I travel I always take my running shoes, because I might not find a club or a gym to train at but I can always go for a cruise around the neighborhood.
Swimming requires more technical ability than running, but this doesn’t need to be a barrier if you are willing to take some swim classes or get some coaching.
Swimming stimulates appetite more than running – just think of how hungry you are when you come out of a pool. If your primary goal is weight control or weight loss then I wouldn’t recommend swimming.
As for me personally? I would love run and swim, but my swimming technique is rather poor, and that means that running is a far more efficient way for me to get my exercise.
On that far-off day, when I wake up and have no urgent items on my to-do list, I’ll spend some time with a swim coach and become a swimmer as well as a runner.
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