Swimming is an excellent form of exercise. It uses a large number of muscle groups and is very easy on joints, such as those in the knees and ankles. Not only is swimming an excellent form of exercise, it will help you lose weight and is one of the best exercises you can do to burn calories.
How fast and how far?
How many calories you burn depends on a number of things. The first two are how far you will swim and how fast will you be swimming. Let's use the distance of one mile (1,609 metres/1,760 yards). We will look at two different swimming speeds in order to judge the difference in calories burnt. The first speed will be 20 metres per minute. This is a slow, leisurely swim that is equivalent to roughly 0.66 miles per hour. At this speed, it will take you approximately 88 minutes to swim the one mile. The second speed will be 60 metres per minute. This is approximately two miles per hour and it will take you approximately 30 minutes to swim one mile.
How much do you weigh?
The number of calories burnt depends a great deal on how much you weigh. For example, a 14-stone (200-pound) person will burn approximately 40 percent more calories than a 7.5 stone person doing the same amount of exercise. For the purposes of this article, we will be using a weight of 72.5 kilos (160 pounds).
Average calories burned per mile
If a person weighing 72.5 kilos swims 20 metres per minute for a distance of one mile, they will burn just slightly more than 466 calories. If the same person swims one mile at 60 metres per minute, they will burn a little more than 433 calories. While the person swimming faster burns slightly less calories, they only had to exercise for 30 minutes rather than for 88 minutes.
Calories over time
If the 14-stone person swims 60 metres per minute for two miles three times a week, they will burn 2,601 calories per week. This translates into more than 135,283 calories per year. If the average caloric intake is 2,200 calories per day, this means by swimming this person has burnt off the equivalent of 61.4 days worth of eating.
Compared to other activities
One hour of swimming at two miles per hour will result in burning 867.2 calories. Watching television will burn 145 calories per hour. Kissing burns 100 calories per hour, while housework will burn an average of 575. Jogging at a rate of five miles per hour will burn 690 calories. While swimming will not burn the same number of calories as jogging, it is much easier on the joints and far better than watching television.