Your heart rate will be higher when running than when swimming.
Everyone knows exercise promotes cardiovascular health and improves overall fitness. Swimming and running are among the most popular aerobic activities. Each has its own selling points. Running is more intense and challenging, while swimming puts less stress on your joints. Both forms of exercise can increase your heart rate and boost cardiovascular endurance.
Swim for a Healthy Heart
According to the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, swimming lowers the risk of endothelial dysfunction in coronary arteries, which in turn, may help prevent heart disease. This form of exercise also reduces blood sugar levels and improves insulin response, protecting against diabetes - a major risk factor for cardiovascular problems. Plus, it helps you maintain a healthy body weight and prevents obesity.
Research shows that swimming is safe even for those with a heart condition. However, in this case, it's important to take some precautions. When you're underwater, it's easy to underestimate how hard your body is working. If you exert yourself too much, you may experience arrhythmia and other cardiovascular symptoms. Additionally, being in water that is too hot or too cold may worsen your condition. If you experience palpitations, chest pain or difficulty breathing, stop swimming immediately.
This fun yet challenging activity also improves circulation and oxygen flow to your heart, regulates blood pressure and boosts lung function. Plus, it's safer for people with arthritis and cardiovascular problems, compared to cycling or running. Like other forms of exercise, swimming relieves stress, which further contributes to a healthier heart.
Running and Cardiovascular Health
Running is touted as the perfect cardio exercise. It burns a ton of calories, improves muscle function and promotes cardiovascular health. On top of that, it requires no equipment, so you can exercise anytime, anywhere. The key is not to go overboard.
A study published in the European Heart Journal indicates that long-distance running may put strain on the heart, especially in middle-aged and older individuals. Strenuous exercise, in general, increases cardiovascular stress and may cause arrhythmia. Low-volume training, on the other hand, has been shown to maintain cardiac performance in subjects with chronic kidney disease and to reduce diabetes complications.
Running at a slow pace for five to 10 minutes per day has been linked to a lower risk of death from all causes, including heart disease. This form of exercise can add years to your life and boost your overall health. In fact, people who run for two hours per week can expect to live about three years longer compared to their peers.
This activity forces your body to operate at a high capacity. As a result, it increases the blood and oxygen flow to your heart muscle and other tissues, leading to improved health. Over time, it may lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, burn excess fat and boost bone mineral density. Because your brain releases endorphins while running, you'll feel better overall and keep stress at bay.
Running vs. Swimming
Both running and swimming benefit your heart. Choosing one over another depends on your overall health and physical condition. Running puts more stress on the joints and muscles, so it may not be suitable for those with neck, back or knee issues. Additionally, it's more challenging for seniors and those who are just starting an exercise program.
Swimming, by comparison, is gentler on your joints and suits all fitness levels. If you have a pre-existing heart condition, this training method may be safer. The risk of cardiac arrest is higher while running. Consider these facts before making a choice. Even if you're healthy, listen to your body, and refrain from pushing yourself too hard.