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TOPIC: calories burned while swimming

 
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November 28, 2010 3:14 AM
when I put leisurely swimming for half an hour in my exercise section, the result was that I burned over 2000 cals! I don't feel this can be right? That would mean that If I had a leisurely swim every day I could eat what I wanted? It doesn't sound right does it?
November 28, 2010 3:28 AM
It'll be more likely like 500cals if it's fast swimming and constantly..
November 28, 2010 3:36 AM
http://www.dietandfitnesstoday.com/caloriesBurned.php

Try this site. I swam for 75 mins, breaststroke, this morning and burned around 1500 cals. There's lots of factors which decide your cals burned. I probably burned more cals as I was surrounded by fast 'front-crawlers' making it akin to swimming against a wave machine!!!!!!
  1100023
November 28, 2010 4:19 AM
According to MFP I burn 544 calories for an hour of swimming. I weigh 200 lbs. There are many factors that vary calories burned for each individual, weight and speed you swim being 2 of them. I would burn almost twice the calories (at 200 lbs) with the exact same swim pace/time swimmed than someone weighing only 100lbs. I would check the calories burned with another website (google calories burned with swimming, you'll find a bunch of free websites) to verify the calories an hour you are burning.
November 28, 2010 4:34 AM
QUOTE:

when I put leisurely swimming for half an hour in my exercise section, the result was that I burned over 2000 cals! I don't feel this can be right? That would mean that If I had a leisurely swim every day I could eat what I wanted? It doesn't sound right does it?


Thats definitely not correct. I weigh 225lb and an hour only came out 612 calories. Are you sure you didn't accidentaly hit a different number or an extra 0
November 28, 2010 4:56 AM
swimming is good exercise but not THAT good. lol.

I swam for an hour on Thanksgiving and only burned a few hundred calories. I wasn't swimming competitive laps, but I wasn't just standing there either.. I swim a lot and while it is great exercise, it isn't enough to take the place of a workout routine.
  2886437
November 28, 2010 4:58 AM
When I swim, I stop about every 5 minutes to take my pulse to make sure I am in zone. Then I use the calculation based on my heart rate to determine my calorie burn.

If you are doing other types of exercise you can use your heart rate with them to give you a better idea.


D
  125954
November 28, 2010 5:12 AM
It depends on how much you weigh and how fast you are swimming. I use a METs compendium to determine calorie burns because that is what I've been taught in my exercise physiology program. A HRM isn't as accurate in the water because being in water naturally slows the heart rate by as much as 20 beats per minute, so someone using a HRM will get a lower (possibly much lower) reading for their calorie burn. To use the METs, basically, you multiply the MET level by the weight in kilograms to get your calorie burn. Here's the list of METs for various swims.

Swimming laps, freestyle, fast, vigorous effort 10
Swimming laps, freestyle, slow, moderate or light effort 7
Swimming, backstroke, general 7
Swimming, breaststroke, general 10
Swimming, butterfly, general 11
Swimming, crawl, fast (75 yards per minute), vigorous effort 11
Swimming, crawl, slow (50 yards per minute), moderate or light effort 8
Swimming, lake, ocean, river 6
Swimming, leisurely, not lap swimming, general 6
Swimming, sidestroke, general 8
Swimming, synchronized 8
Swimming, treading water, fast vigorous effort 10
Swimming, treading water, moderate effort, general 4
Water Aerobics, water calisthenics 4
Water polo, 10
Water volleyball, 3
Water Jogging, 8

Because of my asthma, I have a hard time holding my breath and timing my breathing for swimming, so I water jog, which is 8 METs. I weigh 196.5 pounds. So, dividing my weight by 2.2046 to convert to kilograms, I get 89.13 kilograms of body weight. Multiply 89.13 by 8 METs and I get a calorie burn of 713 calories per hour. If you weigh more, you will burn more because you are moving more mass. Plus you get a better calorie burn from lower intensity in the water because you have the water resistance that you are working against. Not to mention the fact that the buoyancy makes it easier on the joints and less work for the heart because it negates some of the effects of gravity so the heart doesn't have to work as hard to move the blood back up from the feet. Lots and lots of good reasons to get your workout from swimming/water workouts. One of my absolute favorite ways to exercise!


ETA: After re-reading your original post, I see it was a half hour swim. Doing the math backwards, that would be 4000 calories in an hour. Then dividing by 6 METs (see the list above for leisurely swim), you would have to weigh 667 kilograms to get that burn. Multiply that by 2.2046 to get pounds, that would be 1470 pounds. So, unless you are the largest person on the planet, I'd say it's safe to say your calorie burn # was incorrect. wink
Edited by TrainingWithTonya On November 28, 2010 5:17 AM
November 28, 2010 11:42 AM
I think something was wrong with the exercise calculations yesterday. My diary said that a 15 minute leisurely walk
burned something like 2800 calories which is insane. I think it added an extra decimal. But keep on keepin on. It will show
eventually! Good luck!
January 2, 2011 7:35 AM
QUOTE:

I swim a lot and while it is great exercise, it isn't enough to take the place of a workout routine.


I disagree.
Try swimming about 10 miles per week, doing no other exercises except stretches (no running, weight lifting, etc.), and see if that doesn't change your mind. wink
January 21, 2011 10:02 PM
The one on here for swimming laps, freestyle, vigorous effort matches my calculations using my VO2 max and average heart rate over the course of an hour, so it seems pretty accurate. As to above, I think a lot of times people have no idea how hard you have to swim....if you were not a competitive swimmer/triathlete, it would probably be quite painful to maintain a speed and effort that continues to burn a good number of calories and keep your heart rate up. I know if I tried to run I'd probably only burn about 100 before I had to stop!

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