How Many Calories Does Swimming Burn?

If calorie consumption and calorie exertion is something you keep an eye on—and that's many of us to some extent—you probably wonder how much energy is burned when you head to the pool to swim laps.

Swimming is without question an effective way to torch calories. And, due to the ease swimming provides on common problems areas like the lower back and knees, it's a great option for many adults looking for an energy-burning activity.

But how much of a calorie-burning workout is it, truly? And how does it stack up to other endurance activities like running and cycling?

The answer varies, but we do have a few numbers you can chew on.

More: Fitness Makeover: Swimming to Lose Weight

The Variables

A few things to consider here: First, your weight plays a big factor in how much is burned. Generally, the more you weigh, the more you burn.

But to make things even foggier, a person's metabolism is also a factor in how many calories are burned, and metabolism varies no matter what your weight is.

It's difficult to calculate individual metabolism, so these numbers are based on basal metabolic rate for average people in a variety of weight classes.

How Many Calories are Burned Swimming?

The site Nutristrategy.com has estimates from research data from the American College of Sports Medicine. These estimates are based on one hour of swimming, rather than the total distance an athlete covers.

And of course, it varies by your weight:

  • A 130-pound person swimming freestyle for one hour will burn 590 calories swimming fast, and 413 calories swimming slower.
  • A 155-pound person swimming freestyle for one hour will burn 704 calories swimming fast, and 493 calories swimming slower.
  • A 180-pound person swimming freestyle for one hour will burn 817 calories swimming fast, and 572 calories swimming slower.
  • A 205-pound person swimming freestyle for one hour will burn 931 calories swimming fast, and 651 calories swimming slower.

More: How Efficient Is Your Swimming?

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