Swimming provides a lot of physical and mental health benefits, but so does working out in the gym. Although, both can affect different areas of physical fitness.
Generally, the gym can help you grow stronger and build or tone your muscles. It also helps you with initial conditioning to be able to perform in other activities.
Swimming, on the other hand, can help your heart, lungs, and circulatory system and can also impact every muscle in your body.
If you want to become fitter and stronger but are not quite sure which training method will provide you optimal results and can help you achieve your fitness goals as fast as possible, do not worry as we will help you find out which of these two can benefit you the most.
Reasons why swimming can be better than the gym
1. It has no impact on joints and bones
Swimming is a resistance exercise, comparable to weight-lifting. But, unlike weight-lifting, swimming leaves almost no stress on your joints and bones. So not only does it work your muscles but it also doesn’t provide some of the negative impacts of lifting weights.
2. Swimming can strengthen a lot of muscle groups
Swimming does work some muscles more than other exercises particularly your shoulders, back, traps, abs, lats, triceps, and legs.
3. It builds endurance
The constant pulling and pushing off and against the water can build great muscle endurance and work capacity with the above-listed muscles, thus giving you a good physique, known as the “swimmer’s body.”
4. It burns more calories in less time
Swimming naturally burns far more calories than hitting the gym because it is a combination of resistance and cardiovascular exercise. However, this doesn’t mean the gym doesn’t burn calories — it does but just not as much, which means you’ll have to exercise much longer to achieve the same results.
Freestyle swimming, performed by competitive swimmers, can burn roughly 257 calories in just 30 minutes while swimming in a butterfly style can burn up to 404 calories in the same time. On the other hand, weight-lifting can only burn about 80-130 calories in 30 minutes, which is still good, although not as efficient as swimming.
5. You can lose weight faster
If you want to lose weight, swimming is going to be the best exercise to help you do so. Since you’ll be burning more calories, you will lose weight faster. Just make sure not to eat more and eat clean and healthy.
6. It develops cardiovascular fitness and endurance
Swimming can help you develop great cardiovascular fitness and endurance. A higher level of cardiovascular fitness means you have a stronger heart and respiratory system, which will help you be healthier and help you power through pretty much any physically demanding obstacle that you may face, whether it be hiking or running a couple of miles.
7. It is a full-body workout
Swimming can work the entire body in one go, while in the gym, you need several machines to carry out different exercises to target muscle groups, all of which require a lot of time.
8. It is not load-bearing
Swimming is also great for anyone with joint and muscle problems because it is not load-bearing, which makes it a more beneficial option compared to using gym equipment.
9. It is a stress reliever
Swimming can help de-stress and relax, despite how hard you exert effort, which is certainly something you cannot get from using a public gym as you feel pressured and watched all the time.
A swim in the morning or late at night can clear the mind and reduce stress levels.