The sport of swimming is a welcoming, low-impact treat for your joints and muscles. But, it is also an effective means of burning calories. So, how many calories does swimming burn? Several variables impact the exact number of calories burned in the water. These include the intensity, the swim stroke performed and the swimmer’s body weight.
According to Harvard Research, a 155-pound person burns approximately 298 calories for every 30 minutes of swimming backstroke. The number goes up to 372 when swimming breaststroke, freestyle, or upping the intensity to a vigorous effort.
If you really want to get bang for your buck, try the butterfly stroke. A 155-pound person burns an estimated 409 calories when swimming this challenging stroke.
If you’re 125-pound person, your numbers are lower. If you’re a 185-pound person your numbers increase. For example, a 125-pound swimmer will burn 300 calories performing 30 minutes of breaststroke. A 185-pound person will burn 355 calories performing the same activity.
The same study found that running at a 9 minute/mile pace for 30 minutes burned 330 calories for a 125-pound person. A 155-pound person who ran at that pace burned 409 calories in 30 minutes. A 185-pound person burned 488 calories under those same conditions.