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TOPIC: Question about swimming vs. walking

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July 2, 2010 5:11 PM
My friend and I have just started using MFP. We also have just begun walking.

To get us started we are just doing 20 minutes, slow pace MFP listed this as 88 calories burned for my friend. Today she swam leisurely (playing around) in the pool for 20 minutes, and it said she burned 212 calories! That is a HUGE difference.

To me the walking is a lot more work than playing in the pool. Can swimming/playing in the pool really burn that many more calories? If so... we may be doing a lot LESS walking.

Any input?


July 2, 2010 5:15 PM
No...walking isn't a lot more than playing in the pool...especially if your moving constantly in the water...
your body is using all kinds of muscles...
and it goes by weight...
and what you have to lose and age
as to cals lost...
just remember it all counts
so just move
July 2, 2010 5:16 PM
I always thought there is such a huge difference in swimming and other exercises too. I'm all for swimming if it really burns as many calories as MFP says but I do not have a HRM to know for sure. If I had to guess I would say swimming uses more muscles and therefore burns more calories then just walking.
July 2, 2010 5:18 PM
I think it feels like less because the water holds you up, and you can't sweat! However, since I don't have a way to tell which actually burned more calories, I guess I would watch the results. They don't lie.
July 2, 2010 5:28 PM
July 2, 2010 5:38 PM
I've been wondering the same thing. I love to swim but my HRM isn't waterproof, so I cant accurately count the calories burned. I know that all of the calorie burned numbers are totally off from what my HRM records, so I just don't trust the calorie count that the website gives.
July 2, 2010 5:49 PM
Swimming is a total body exercise whereas walking only uses your leg muscles. And with swimming, you're having to support your body weight and you have the water that acts as resistance. And you don't feel like you're sweating because it just goes into the water! So yes, swimming burns more calories overall.
July 2, 2010 5:54 PM
I to have had the same question. My friend has been going to water aerobics every day since September missing very few days only through the week though. She has lost 5 inches on her hips by just doing that and not dieting. I asked her to ask her instructor about it. She said that water aerobics or exercising in the water is 3 times more than what you would get in a work out on land. She said if you ran a mile in a pool it would be equivalent to 3 miles on land. I hope this helps. I know I have been getting in my pool almost everyday and working out.
July 2, 2010 6:16 PM
Dang, and I was just about to give up my membership at the fancy gym with a pool for a more basic, cheaper gym!
July 2, 2010 6:18 PM
I have been doing 30 mins of water aerobics while wearing resistence equipment (hands and ankles). Lost tons of inches and 8 lbs in three weeks. I only weigh in on Monday's so hoping for another two lbs this coming Mon. Not only is it easier on your body (low impact) but it is a huge workout!
July 2, 2010 6:31 PM
I do water aerobics and burn 288 calories in an hour. It is very vigorous and there is a lot of resistance in the water. I have been doing this since February and have lost 36 lbs. 13 inches from my waist and have muscles in my arms that I never had before...................greatest work out ever!
Edited by Samantharose8akaDebbie On July 2, 2010 6:33 PM
July 2, 2010 6:32 PM
July 2, 2010 6:33 PM
I'm very fit and when I swim, my HRM records quite a few calories burned, even for just 20 minutes. More than when I work out on the elliptical at interval training with that.
July 2, 2010 6:47 PM
I do a lot of swimming and deep water aqua jogging (with an aqua jogging belt and other accessories). If you go running on land they say you can burn 8 calories a minute, but if you run in deep water you burn 11.5 calories per minute because of the extra resistance of pushing through water versus walking/running while you are pushing through air. Many professional runners train in deep water in addition to land, plus often that is their only exercise the week before a big race.

There are many ways to up the exercise in the pool including extra resistance weights, booties for the feet, etc. Generally, if you are vertical in the water, such as deep water running, or water aerobics you are pushing and pulling the water. When you swim you are horizontal and the intent is to slice through the water with minimal resistance to increase speed. It burns a lot of calories and builds certain muscles and lung capacity. Deep water joggin/running builds more overall body muscles and core muscles.

It's a lot of fun. Grab a waterproof MP3 player and go have fun in the water.

Hope this helps.
July 2, 2010 10:47 PM
wow! Some great replies... think I'll hit the pool tomorrow! My legs and feet are tired... I've been walking twice a day. :)
July 3, 2010 10:55 AM
Same here. My legs are bit stiff this morning so I think I'll get in my pool and paddle around.
July 3, 2010 11:31 AM
I thought of a few things. Like-if you normally do not swim, your body will have to work harder, thus giving you bigger burn.

If you swim in a pool, think about how many times you go up and down the steps, jump in the water, bob up and down playing with others or just swimming........pushing the water the entire time!

IF you are blessed to have an ocean nearby, then you add lugging the stuff thru the sand before ever hitting the water. When I wore my HRM for a 2 hr stint at the beach, I burned close to 600 cals without even trying. All I did was walk, play, sit. Walk, play, swim, sit.

What a great way to burn those extra calories. I love water!heart drinker heart

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