I'm 25 years old. For the past years, I've been running every day. I dont like running. I like swimming. Which one is good for maintaining your body and reducing your belly? What is the main difference between swimming and running? Can anyone give suggestions?

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    As a general comment on picking exercise forms, it's good to go with what you enjoy more as long as it's a worthy form of exercise. Even if running was a bit better (swimming is the best!), I'd say still swim because you enjoy it more. What will be more effective at getting you out of bed at 6 AM to workout?
    – andrewb
    Aug 17, 2013 at 2:34

3 Answers 3


IMO swimming is a better all-around exercise for health; it can be tweaked to focus on upper- or lower-body, and is substantially less abusive.

That said, for absolute fat loss, it may not be optimal because of the heat loss encountered when in water. (Body: "This environment is costing me heat; I shall retain body fat.")

I say do what you enjoy--you're more likely to do it, it's less damaging, and it's great exercise.


Swimming, if done for speed/efficiency is actually more of an upper body workout than lower body. In fact, much of the focus of swimming improvement is in efficiency, which of course reduces calorie burn but results in the ability to swim longer and faster.

Also because you are floating, a lot of the work of carrying your own weight is skipped.

Running is probably better for general calorie burning.

If however you like swimming, then something is better than what you do not like.

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    I agree, especially the last line: if its something you like doing chances are you'll keep doing it regularly, for longer periods of time and hopefully enjoy yourself.
    – Ivo Flipse
    Jan 7, 2012 at 15:04
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    Swimming is not a good exercise for fast fat burning as it's low impact.
    – Chris S
    Jan 9, 2012 at 23:50

From my experience I would say swimming coupled with calorie restriction is a much better choice than any of them alone.

I was also working on burning fat first. I tried running but I could not make any significant improvement, maybe 3 pounds over the course of a month. Then i tried swimming coupled with VERY mild calorie restriction. I practice swimming an hour a day with 30 minutes of floating (practicing leg movements as you do while learning freestyle for the first time), 10 minutes of fun (like splashing water at my little brother), and 20 minutes of butterfly (just for muscles in the upper body, not for fat).

There is no restriction. In course of 5 weeks, I have lost 10 pounds (without even resisting ice cream). Moreover, my upper body is already toned so swimming might be a good option.


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