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Swimming vs cycling: Which works the best for weight loss | – Times of India

When it comes to weight loss, both swimming and cycling are excellent forms of exercise that offer numerous health benefits. However, determining which one works best for weight loss depends on various factors such as individual preferences, physical condition, and overall fitness goals.
Read this article to know about the effectiveness of each of these workout forms on weight loss.

Swimming engages multiple muscles

Swimming engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously, providing a full-body workout. It strengthens muscles in the arms, legs, core, back, and shoulders, leading to improved muscle tone and increased calorie expenditure. The number of calories burned during swimming depends on various factors such as stroke technique, intensity, and duration. On average, swimming can burn between 400 to 700 calories per hour, depending on the stroke and intensity level.

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Swimming is a low-impact exercise that is gentle on the joints, making it suitable for individuals with joint pain or injuries. The buoyancy of water reduces the stress on the joints while still providing an effective cardiovascular workout. It boosts metabolism both during and after the workout. The resistance of water requires more effort, leading to higher calorie expenditure during the exercise session. Additionally, swimming elevates the heart rate, which can increase calorie burning even after the workout is completed.
Swimming is an excellent aerobic exercise that improves cardiovascular health by strengthening the heart and lungs. Regular swimming can lower blood pressure, improve circulation, and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Swimming in cooler water temperatures can increase the body’s calorie burn due to the thermogenic effect. The body works harder to maintain its core temperature in colder water, resulting in higher energy expenditure.

Cycling is an excellent cardiovascular exercise

Cycling is a cardiovascular exercise that increases heart rate and improves cardiovascular fitness. It primarily targets the lower body muscles, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes, while also engaging the core muscles for stability. The number of calories burned while cycling depends on factors such as speed, resistance level, terrain, and duration of the ride. On average, cycling at a moderate intensity can burn between 400 to 600 calories per hour, while vigorous cycling can burn even more.
Cycling is a low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints, making it suitable for individuals with arthritis or joint pain. It provides a cardiovascular workout without putting excessive stress on the knees, hips, or ankles. It also allows for high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which involves alternating between periods of intense effort and recovery. HIIT workouts are effective for burning calories, improving fitness, and boosting metabolism.
Cycling can be done outdoors on roads or trails, as well as indoors on stationary bikes. It offers versatility in terms of terrain and intensity levels, allowing individuals to customize their workouts according to their fitness level and goals. It improves balance, coordination, and leg strength, which are essential for activities of daily living. It also promotes overall well-being and mental health by reducing stress and boosting mood.
Keep these in mind while deciding your weight loss routine

  • The best exercise for weight loss is one that you enjoy and can stick to consistently. Some people may prefer the tranquility of swimming, while others may enjoy the sense of freedom and adventure that cycling provides.
  • Consider your current fitness level, any existing health conditions, and your comfort level with each exercise. If you have joint issues or injuries, swimming may be a more suitable option due to its low-impact nature.
  • Determine your fitness goals and how each exercise aligns with them. If your primary goal is weight loss, choose an exercise that you can sustain for longer durations and that burns a significant number of calories per session.
  • Incorporating a combination of swimming, cycling, and other forms of exercise into your routine can provide variety, prevent boredom, and target different muscle groups. Balance cardiovascular workouts with strength training and flexibility exercises for overall fitness and weight management.
  • Consistency is key to achieving weight loss goals with any exercise regimen. Gradually increase the duration, intensity, and frequency of your workouts over time to challenge your body and continue making progress.

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