Running Vs Swimming: Which Is Better For You?

running vs swimming
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Running vs swimming is a good topic of debate as there are many differing views and opinions.

From a glance, it may seem like swimming is better than running, but this comes down to the goals, needs and your own preference.

You can’t just say swimming is better than running based on few aspects and being bias.

In my honest opinion, you can’t compare running vs swimming as both are different sport.

running vs swimming

If you are comparing in terms of weight loss calories, then yes, no doubt swimming burns more calories than running due to the resistance involved.

Running vs swimming is a debatable topic and both are equally effective, but it depends on your goals, needs and which you prefer.

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Running is a simple form of exercise which refers to quick movement of your legs. Running is known as a high-impact sport. Running is also a good way to lose weight.

In running, both legs will be in the air during the swing gait phase. Unlike walking and jogging whereby at least one foot will be on the ground during the swing gait phase.

You don’t need much equipment to begin running; get a good pair of shoes and a proper attire and you are good to go!

running vs swimming

You can even run anywhere and anytime you like. Running around your neighbourhood, at a park and on a treadmill yields the same result.

However, treadmill running maybe slightly easier than outside running as the belt assist your leg every time your foot touch down.


Swimming is basically you propelling yourself through the water. With properly coordinated limbs and breathing pattern, you are able to propel yourself forward with ease.

In swimming, your whole body weight is held by the water (buoyancy) and is a zero-impact sport.

It is also an extremely effective exercise for rehabilitation.

swimming vs running

You require certain specific equipment before you can begin swimming; goggles, swimming cap (if necessary), swimming attire and the swimming pool itself.

Furthermore, it is important to note that not many people know how to swim.

Running Advantages and Disadvantages


running vs swimming
  • Most accessible sport.
  • Simple form of exercise that can be done anywhere and everywhere.
  • Build cardiovascular and muscular fitness.
  • Improve bone density, bone strength and bone mass.
  • You don’t need to know much technique to start running.
  • It improves your athleticism.


  • The¬†weather is your enemy, i.e., is it raining, sunny or snowing?
  • Risk of overuse injuries especially at the knee.
  • Hard surfaces such as tarred road increases the risk of injuries especially shin splints.
  • Possible dangers from cars, motorcyclists and bicyclists.
  • High-impact exercise.


Swimming Advantages and Disadvantages


running vs swimming
  • Able to improve your cardiovascular and muscular fitness.
  • Fun way to lose weight besides your other usual exercise routine.
  • A type of relaxing exercise.
  • Low-impact exercise.
  • A good rehabilitation therapy for injured persons.


  • Beginners need to learn the skill and technique of swimming beforehand.
  • Risk of overuse injuries especially at the shoulder.
  • The risk of drowning regardless of how experienced you are.
  • Extreme exhaustion.
  • Adverse effects or side effects towards chlorine (in swimming pools).
  • High risk of sunburn as you receive “extra dose” of UV due to the reflection of the water.
  • You need a body of water or a swimming pool before you can go swimming.


Running vs Swimming; Which Is Better?

Both are equally great form of exercise or sport. It is for you to decide which is better and which you prefer. It is quite bias if you were to compare between running vs swimming.

As runners, you are surely gonna say running is better; as swimmers, you are surely gonna say swimming is better. Unless you are a duathlete.

Just let running and swimming be on their own world of sport and exercise, 2 totally different sport cannot compare “which is better?“. Example, you won’t be swimming on the ground nor will you be running in the water.

running vs swimming

In my opinion, in terms of health benefits; both improves your cardiovascular and muscular fitness, and both are able to reduce your stress and improve your well-being.

As running is a high-impact exercise, it improves your bone density to adapt to the load, pressure and stress of running.

However, swimming is a zero-impact exercise and in the long term, it reduces your bone density to adapt to the reduced load, pressure and stress of swimming.

Swimmers can offset this bone density problem by incorporating running and/or strength training into your training routine.

Runners can improve their recovery by incorporating swimming for their recovery day or post-workout recovery.

Instead of comparing both exercise/sport, why not incorporate both into your training program?

In conclusion, running and swimming is 2 different exercise or sport, you cannot compare it based on “which is better?“.

Both of it are unique and beneficial. Both are great form of exercise. Finally, it is for you to decide which you prefer and not “which is better?”.

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