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Is Swimming Cardio?

So, is swimming cardio? Follow along as we answer this question and more in our latest blog post. Read now!

Published: 12/31/18

Cardio is hardio, but if you love what you are doing it may just be worth it. When we think of cardio workouts, we often think of running, jumping rope, rowing, and the like. However, one of our favorite forms of cardio is swimming.

What Is A Cardio Workout?

You can know whether or not your workout is cardio by looking at your heart rate. The average person’s resting heart rate can be anywhere between 60 to 100 beats per minute with some athletes having a resting heart rate as low as 40 bpm. To calculate your resting heart rate, locate your pulse on either your neck or wrist, set a timer for 15 seconds, and count how many times your heart beats. Once you have that number, multiply it by 4 to get your BPM or beats per minute. Make sure that before you calculate the resting heart rate that you are actually resting and not running around the house. It is best to calculate your resting heart rate as soon as you wake up in the morning so your body is calm and relaxed. This will give the most accurate BPM.

To calculate your maximum heart rate, you just subtract your age from 220, and that is the maximum amount of times your heart should beat per minute during exercise. So, a 30-year-old would find their maximum heart rate to be 190. A cardio workout is any workout that raises your heart rate for an extended period of time. So, if your resting heart rate is 70 and you find that your heart rate is up to and has remained at 120 BPM for a few minutes, you, my friend, are working on cardio.

It is essential to know both your resting and maximum heart rate so that you know when you have pushed far enough, and when you have pushed too far. To figure out your target zone, use this calculator.

Is Swimming Cardio or Strength

Now that we have a basic understanding of cardio, we want to know, is swimming cardio exercise or strength training? The answer is, both. In fact, several workouts are both, even if you don’t realize it. For example, many people raise their heart rate for an extended period of time when weightlifting which makes it a cardiovascular workout. Just try to swim for 100 or 200 meters at your fastest speed, you may find yourself out of breath at the end even though your body was basically weightless gliding through the pool. The added benefit of cardio in the pool is the resistance from the water, allowing for a certain level of strength training that provides a low-impact workout for your entire body as well.

Is Swimming Good Cardio For Weight Loss

No exercise can out train a bad diet. So, if you are hoping to lose some weight or just simply want to get healthy, stop reading right now and go take a hard look at your kitchen cabinets. The key to health is there; your fitness routine can only get you so far. Once you have your diet figured out, then it is time to get into healthy habits like cardio and strength training. A fantastic way to shed pounds and have fun doing it is by hitting the pool. But, as we have mentioned before this can be tricky. Since many of us are new to swimming for exercise rather than leisure, it may be hard to figure out the exact form in which to complete a stroke. This is where online resources, YouTube videos, instructors, and swim coaches will come in handy. To reap the incredible cardio benefits that come along with lap swimming workouts, you must first know how to swim correctly.

Is It Better To Just Run?

When it comes to swimming vs running, some people claim that it is better to hit the pavement to reap the benefits of a cardio workout. This is debatable. Though your heart is beating about 13% less than a regular cardio exercise done on land, this does not mean that this exercise is any easier. Many experts believe this is because running, or any other weight-bearing exercise, causes your joints and bones to hit the pavement and each other which can lead to discomfort. The benefits of swimming, on the other hand, are a cooling effect and the pressure from the water allow for the heart to pump blood a little easier, and a smoother oxygen exchange. If you experience hip pain or have trouble with your joints, swimming workouts might become your best friend. Check with your doctor to see if you should add this low-impact exercise to your routine a few times a week to replace your cardio.

How Do I Learn How To Swim For Cardio

Though swimming is one of the most challenging sports to acclimate to due to the different breathing patterns, it is worth it to find an instructor or class to teach you the right ways to complete the workout. Swimming can increase your cardiovascular health and strength all while causing a minimal negative impact on your entire body. It also helps people increase flexibility, stretch, elongate their muscles, and can even be meditative to some.

Chuze Fitness Locations with Swimming Pools

Want to swim at a Chuze near you? Check out our locations with pools below!


Garden Grove, Rancho Cucamonga, Corona, Anaheim, Cudahy, San Bernardino

Broomfield, South Monaco, Englewood, Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Thornton, Westminster

New Mexico:
Winrock Town Center

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