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Positive and Negative Effects of Swimming and Running

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Health
Wordcount: 2768 words Published: 16th Oct 2017

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  • Quynh Ho


Health in Your Choice

Swimming and running are considered as two popular activities sport. Every activity is very good; especially, both swimming and running are beneficial to your health. However, experts often analyze which has more advantages: swimming or walking? By Alex Hutchinson in “What’s better: 30 minutes of swimming or running”, he said that spending 30 minutes swimming is better than running. The thing is swimming can be better than running in some ways. Whether you are children or adult, it is a great sport that may bring more benefits than the advantages of running without having a joint or injury to the heart, and athletes lose weight safely.

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To begin with, running may have risks on knees. Most runners have heard that “You’re going to ruin your knees!” (Keri Bond 1). We cannot deny the fact that most runners often suffer trauma-related activities in their careers and lead injuries are more common in the knees. Running is a sport that has high impact, so many people such as runners do not avoid the injury during running. The article “Exercising with Osteoporosis: Stay Active the Safe Way” by Mayo Clinic staff showed that “Activities such as jumping, running or jogging can lead to fractures in weakened bones” (2). It points out that people who run suffer from stiffness in their knees. Thus, the vital reason to explain for this problem in runners’ knees is collision. According to Keri Bond in “ The Effect of Running on the Knees”, “Each time your foot makes contact with the ground, forces equaling two to four times your body weight travel upward through your lower leg, knee, thigh, hip and pelvis, and into your spine” ( 1). Therefore, the entire weight of the body will be pushed down to the knees and legs while they are running. The weight of the body makes the exposure or the impact from the knee to the ground is very big and strong, so they can make a knee injury. Thus, knees injuries may seem like elusive injure in runners. Because of knee pain or the constant impact will lead to a knee replacement, many people decide to stop running. Other runners have serious problems in using their leg throughout the rest of their life. Moreover, women’s knees are more susceptible to injury than men, because “their wider pelvis, leg alignment, joint looseness and general muscle strength” (Keri Bond 1). For this reason, women should be more cautious to prevent this injury.

Unlike running, swimming will reduce risks of knees injury. The weight of the water does not reduce the pressure on the joints eliminates the possibility of the knees and the other muscle groups take part in in activities other than strong impact. Several survey have published that swimming will bring great advantages to the knees. A study demonstrated in the “Arthritis Care Research” journal found that diseased individual in the water will implement more effective pain relief than people who practiced on the coast (1). Thus, water exercise will gain the use of knees joint help perform better. The three reasons work-out water to be good for knees. First, lot muscle groups will be used, especially the use of arm and leg muscles while swimming. Second, swimming helps build their muscle. Third, the joints will continue to operate and help them stronger thanks to the pressure from the water.

Secondly, another crucial risk of running is directly in the heart. It points out that the effort to bring about serious consequences damage to their heart. A new report was published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggests that the athletes put damage on their heart increase over time when they are running a long- distance. It “can cause a buildup of scar tissue on the heart, which can lead to the development of patchy myocardial fibrosis in up to 12% of marathon runner” ( O’Mara 1). For instance, “on July 20, 1984, Jim Fixx was a consummate runner- on his routine 10 mile run, he suffered a fatal heart attack” ( Ebert 1). He passed at the age of 52. Moreover, his death was not the only issue for this situation. A story about Micah True, who was the marathoner, occurred in April this year, suffered heart attacks during a race was updated in the news. Running has damaged heart of both 58-year-old man, Micah True and Jim Fixx because of heart attacks. Their heart function is reduced when the runners do stubborn exercise, as a result, it damages their heart and the risk of dying from heart attack is very possible with a runner.

Running is dangerous the heart, on the contrary, swimming is good for it. Because swimming’s activities are less demand on the heart than running, their heart rate won’t go up as high. That means “heart rate is lower by10 to 20 beats per minute” (Wellness 1). While they are swimming, the movement of the water will make the blood flow from the heart to brain better. Consequence, swimming will help to “increase the heart rate” and “improve heart health” effectively (Borboa 1). Berkeley Wellness, author of article “Why is Swimming is so Good for You,” asserted that “If you’re looking for exercise that improves heart and lung capacity, but is gentle on your joints, swimming is a top choice”. Therefore, practicing this activity 3-4 days per week can avoid the risk of heart disease and stroke. As Andre Jackson explain, “Swimming is generally regarded as a great way to help you to improve your heart rate and blood flow and to help maintain a healthy weight” (1). Thus, swimming is the best method to reduce joint problems and cardiovascular disease.

In addition, lose weight seems to be an indispensable advantage of swimming. Unlike running, swimming brings interests for the whole body and is a good choice to improve overall fitness. According to experts, swimming is a good way to lose weight by work-out result to every parts of body is operated in a flexible way from limbs to abs and back. This process requires swimmer to consume a large amount of calories, the energy loss can be transformed from fat accumulation in the body. The impact of water combined with physical activity as a massage therapist and fitness combined, all body parts and movement helps tone muscles, blood circulation, and especially burns body fats. An article “The Health Benefits of Swimming” by The Life script Editorial Staff showed that “On average, a swimmer can burn as many calories in an hour as a runner who runs six miles in one hour. Simply put, some call swimming the perfect form of exercise.” That is true because swimming is an aerobic exercise with impact and lowest pressure on the joints; it combines using muscle in the same time as the arms, legs, back, and abdomen. Consequently, the best method loses weight by swimming sports are widely applied.

However, not everyone recognized that swimming is better than running. In the article“16 Reasons Why Running is Better Than Swimming (Jennie’s Rebuttal)” by Jennie Hansen, she focuses on giving her own ideas about 16 reasons why running is better than swimming. When she is running, she sees some benefits that swimming could not bring to such as she can look and listen to everything around and breathe in the air. Her winter running clothes are better, and her hair is not gnarly. She does not pay money. Her run form does not need high level, and she will not happen something when she stop running and..etc. Thus, in her article, she only gives benefits outside of running and does not tend to swimming’s benefits about health. Her analysis about running is better swimming is not really exact. That can be true when swimming cannot bring benefits outside as running that she wants but exercise should be analyzed whether it is good or not it must base on its benefit about health. So, her ideas will be wrong when she gives a conclusion that running is better than swimming. Running can burn many calories than swimming but running fast can be the risk of knees, joints injury and heart. Besides, heat stroke can easy happen with any runner if they do not know how to control their temperature during running process.

Demonstrating the dangers of running does not mean that totally negate the benefits of itself bring for athletes. But considering risk issues in a workout, swimming is less likely to occur. Even if you have to take a little pressure from the water, it is less likely to make your heart stroke. There’s no ground impact from swimming, so it can protect your joints, maintain your breath from stress. Moreover, swimming also helps people lose weight easier. It burns lots of calories, anywhere about 590 calories per hour depending on how efficiently you swim. Many people think that running is a great method to lose weight. It is true because running will need a lot of power and burn many calories than swimming but dangers of body coccus anytime. But when you use a lot power in body, you can have to face with dangerous health. So, if you want to lose weight quickly, you can increase hours of swimming to get effective in losing weight.

Besides, because there’s no impact with swimming, swimming can be continued for a lifetime. Even if you are 93 years old, you still can swim but running has troubles in this problem. You can see this evidence in the United States Masters Swimming (http://www.usms.org/) a web site for age categories of their swim competitions. Indeed, swimming is a good exercise and brings many benefits. It can satisfy all rigorous requirements of athletes or those people want to lose weight with health’s safe. Thus, to consider running or swimming is better, you should be based on benefits and danger themselves.

Not only that, some people argue that swimming has more risks than running in exercise. First thing, swimming is not good for skin because” most swimming pools contain chlorine, a gaseous element that helps keep the pool free of bacteria and debris. Undiluted chlorine is highly toxic and caustic…..Swimming in a chlorinated pool can dry out your skin and make it feel tight and itchy because the chlorine strips your skin of its natural oils. People with sensitive skin might even get irritation or a rash from the pool’s drying effects” ( Sarah 1). Our skin often secretes organic acids to keep skin soft, smooth and protected from the harmful effects of the bacteria from the environment. The more contact with water or soak in water for too long will cause the acid leaching; making the skin becomes rough, prone to irritation and injury. Moreover, chemicals in pool water absorbs sunlight, even when it’s not sunny, we can still endured from the “harmful effects of ultraviolet rays”. This becomes more and more dangerous in the period to go swimming because the body exposed to sunlight and ultraviolet radiation. It can cause skin pigmentation, gray, dry skin, peeling, blistering and even can lead to skin cancer.

Besides, swimming is also negatively effects to the eye. When swimming, the eye often contacts direct with water, so eyes will quickly compromised by the bacteria. “The spread of conjunctivitis from pool usage because even in chemically treated water, the chlorine does not kill all the germs, nor does it kill germs instantly” (“Protecting Your Eyes in a Swimming Pool” 1) . So when they swim in pool, if germs transferred from person to person, eyes may become red, confess, and look blurred. However, despite these risks, swimming is better than running because swimming will decrease risks of knees injury, be good for heart and lose weight safe.

In conclusion, both sport swimming and running carry its own benefits itself. Although swimming brings negative effects, the risks can occur during exercise, the swimming brings fewer risks. Swimming is not only limited the risks of knee injury and heart but it also is an effective way to lose weight without using too much energy in the body like running.

Works Cited

Admin. “Does Water Polo Burn More Calories than Swimming?” Does Water Polo Burn More Calories than Swimming? Admin, n.d. Web. 20 July 2014. <http://www.dietnutritionadvisor.com/does-water-polo-burn-more-calories-than-swimming>.

Bond, Keri. “The Effect of Running on the Knees.” The Effect of Running on the Knees. Keri Bond, n.d. Web. 6 Jan. 2014. <http://www.livestrong.com/article/526736-running-how-it-affects-your-knees/>.

Borboa, Michele MS. “5 Best Exercises to Improve Heart Health.” 5 Best Exercises to Improve Heart Health. Michele Borboa, MS, n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2011. <http://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/814921/5-best-exercises-to-improve-heart-health-1>.

Clinic, Mayo. “Exercising with osteoporosis: Stay active the safe way.” Exercising with Osteoporosis: Stay Active the Safe Way. Mayo Clinic, n.d. Web. 1 Jan. 2014. <http://www.riversideonline.com/health_reference/Womens-Health/HQ00643.cfm>.

Ebert, Benjamin. “The Runner’s Heart.” The Runner’s Heart. Benjamin Ebert, n.d. Web. 1 Sept. 2013. <http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-treatment/runners-heart>.

Jashon, Andre. “5 Key Benefits of Swimming.” 5 Key Benefits of Swimming. Andre Jashon, n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2014. <http://www.mensfitness.co.uk/exercises/3828/5-key-benefits-of-swimming>.

Metzker, Sarah Erdemir. “The Effects of Swimming on Swimmers’ Hair & Skin.” The Effects of Swimming on Swimmers’ Hair & Skin. Sarah Metzker Erdemir, n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2013. <http://www.livestrong.com/article/144066-the-effects-swimming-swimmers-hair-skin/>.

O’Mara, Kelly. “How Much Running Is Bad for Your Heart?” How Much Running Is Bad for Your Heart? Kelly O’Mara, n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2012. <http://running.competitor.com/2012/06/news/how-much-running-is-bad-for-your-heart_54331>.

“Protecting Your Eyes in a Swimming Pool.” Protecting Your Eyes in a Swimming Pool. Eye Health, n.d. Web. 3 July 2014. <http://www.uptowneyecare.com/eyes-swimming-pool/>.

Wellness, Berkeley. “Why Swimming Is so Good for You.” Why Swimming Is so Good for You. Berkeley Wellness, n.d. Web. 1 Aug. 2011. <http://www.berkeleywellness.com/fitness/active-lifestyle/article/why-swimming-so-good-you>.

William, Travis. “Exercise Can Help Your Joint Pain and Athritis.” Exercise Can Help Your Joint Pain and Athritis. Travis William, n.d. Web. 1 Jan. 2014. <http://www.mdmh.org/getpage.php?name=William_Exercise_can_help_joint_pain_arthritis>.


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