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Lakewood Times

    Swimming Vs. Running: Which is better?


    A swimmer chronicles a life filled with 5 a.m practices, the solace associated with water, and the smell of chlorine that no amount of shampoo can cure. A runner chronicles a life of running in countless circles around a track, an enduring pain of shin splints, and a fair amount of sweat. When assessing the benefits and effects of each form of movement, the questions are posed: Which is better overall? Both forms of movement juxtapose each other in practice, but align in terms of principle–each providing a sense of spiritual well-being.

    The word “run” notoriously produces a wide-eye effect to most–scolding at the thought of high intense cardio. But for others, running is something held close to the heart–addicted to the thought of  a 9 mile run. The short-term benefits vastly outnumber the long–reaping the benefits mental clarity and energy levels but facing eventual joint problems. A 1998 study conducted at the University of California analyzed a group of 27 runners over the course of nine years. Every few years, the subjects were subjected to a series of x-ray screenings. At the end of the experiment, doctors concluded that the prevalence of osteoporosis rose in each subject.  Although producing a number of transient benefits , the long-term impacts upon joints severely vastly outweigh the short-term.

    Swimming is a natural human instinct. Children are born with the ability to swim, but forget after a number of years not placed in water. The benefits of swimming are numerous as it has been dubbed “the fountain of youth.” The University of South Carolina surveyed 44,000 male subjects and found that men who swam regally, after 32 years, had 50% lower death than non-swimmers. Not only does it provide exceptional aerobic exercise, but generate psychological benefits as well. Swimming can release physical stress–promoting mental clarity.

    Both running and swimming are healthy additions to any daily routine that have a laundry list of benefits. But the question still remains relevant: which is better? Simply put,  swimming outweighs running in long terms–providing the same full-body exercise without high impact. It is especially beneficial for those with arthritis and chronic joint pain. Drawing conclusion, both elements are phenomenal options for adding physical activity  into every day life.



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