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kumar5
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Swimming can be great cardio. I competed internationally in swimming in my (long ago) youth, so I speak from some experience.

 

Just a few quick observations:

 

(1) When you start swimming, you will fatigue muscles, especially in upper back (lats!)and shoulders, in a new way. Initially you need to build up these muscles before you can start doing sustained cardio work. It may take four weeks or more before you feel you are really working your lungs in the pool. You might want to continue jogging regularly for cardio until you "feel" like you're getting cardio work in the pool.

 

(2) Swimming is great for high-intensity interval training.

 

(3) Swimming is great if you have certain injuries (for instance lower body chronic-use injuries from running) since it is not weight-bearing . . . but that is also one of its drawbacks. Somewhere you want to be including weight-bearing exercise in your routine.

 

(4) If you are swimming in a chlorinated pool, take a long shower afterwards. Your skin and hair will thank you.

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I second what everyone else has said. I'm sort of into triathlons and such, and always reading about swimming vs. running. I give major props to swimming, and swim myself. The one thing I'll add to what others have said, however, is that if your goal is to get REALLY cut, then you might be better off running/cycling over swimming. Swimmers are known to have a higher body fat percentage than runners or cyclists. There are a number of theories why, and quite a few studies have been done that have all failed to show conclusively what it is. High likelihood that, since muscles work best when warm, your body retains fat to insulate muscles while swimming.

 

Just something to keep in mind if you're shooting for a certain physique and want to reacher it as quickly as possible. It's excellent non-impact cardio though, which is why I originally went into it.

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Is swimming considered cardio? I intend to take lessons so I can learn a skill and get some exercise also.

Can weekly swimming replace my weekly jogging sessions?

Swimming can be considered cardio, it all depends on how you swim. It's an awesome skill to know.

Can weekly swimming replace my weekly jogging sessions?

It depends on what your weekly jogging sessions are like.

 

If you swim the right way, you can use it as part of a killer program to get results along the lines of thishttp://resources2.news.com.au/images/2009/08/01/1225757/047594-michael-phelps.jpg

 

But like any sport, if you just loll around without much of a focused program, nothing much will happen except maybe you'll have to spend some extra money on swim suits.

 

Listen to Timetide, and have fun!

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You won't look like Phelps by swimming. Phelps wouldn't look like Phelps by swimming, although he'd look damn good (to me haha). You have to be a FISH to get pro-swimmer looks, but Phelps does a great deal of strength training outside of the pool. Most if not all of the top swimmers today do.

 

When you're at the pool, take a look at who the good swimmers are who obviously swim regularly. You realize pretty soon that these people look nothing like Phelps, and in fact don't *on average* look like they're in the kind of shape runners or cyclists are.

 

But I'm not discounting swimming! I love swimming! Totally recommend it, just saying that every tool has it's purpose.

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I totally agree with you that it all depends on the complete program, which is why I emphasized that swimming a lot is not only unlikely that it'll ever result in a Phelps-physique, it's probably never going to happen unless you're a freak. And I'm not sure what runners and cyclists you've seen , but it's pretty well known that swimmers have a whole lot more flab going on.

 

Also, I'm not sure what conditions you'd be swimming under for it NOT to be considered cardio.

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Good comments.

I need swimming as a skill, that's always useful but also to use my body more as I'm not a gym person. I do lift, but I like variety.

I don't need to be like Phelps- his routine and eating is not realistic for an average person. But I read swimming helps toning.

Running, after 5 years... well, I'd like to try something else.

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If you're only going to do a single form of exercise, then swimming certainly helps toning. Though it is primarily cardio, it does engage your muscles enough to "tone". But realistically you won't put on much in the way of muscle swimming, and it's not going to get rid of body fat like running or cycling to give you that really cut look for, lets say, six pack abs. I'm talking in general of course! A bit of running, some lifting and some crunches will you get a lot more toned in a lot less time than swimming.

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Well, I'll be swimming once a week, an hour is my goal.

It will complement my twice a week endurance training.

Right now, I'm focusing on flexibility, so weights are once a week.

But I'd like to do more weights once my body weight increases, and swimming would be good cardio then. Of course I'd jog from time to time but I want an option to jogging, you know?

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I think that individuals with certain training and certain goals (pro's) are being wrongly used as examples for the effectivenes of different cardios..i guess that someone with a calorie deficit and a high protein diet has a big chance of getting lean with either form of cardio used..

I mean, a marathon-runner stands no chance of carrying either fat or muscle , a sprinter-runner though is engaged in strength training and wants to get rid of bonus fat kilos on his body to achieve his sprinting goals maintaing a lean physique , a swimmer might not want to be really "tight" but carry an amount of fat to give him the "fishy" style of swimming or even be on a low protein diet because protein "steals away" his precious calories and energy from getting his swimming training done..

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Swimming is great cardio but as said before, swimmers tend to have more body fat than many other athletes. In high school a lot of my friends did swimming/water polo and their appearances varied a lot. Not a ton of six packs but high school students are often naturally lean, plus water polo people often lift a lot of weights.

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a few quick thoughts.

 

it is cardio, its a workout if done right and if you build up properly.

 

form is very important, if you dont have the right form you will get frustrated and work harder then you need to.

 

it is one of the greatest tools to increase your lung capacity and if done regularly you can improve your runs by swimming.

 

diet is a greater factor with body fat and getting cut then certain types of cardio.

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