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Which is better: running, skipping, cycling or swimming?

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Which is better: running, skipping, cycling or swimming?

Whenever someone is beginning to explore fitness, they soon learn that there are a number of options for an effective aerobic workout. If you are not familiar with the term, an aerobic workout is basically any exercise that you participate in for a number of minutes that gets your heart pumping. These kinds of workouts not only improve your outward appearance, but they also can improve your health and wellness as a whole! The most popular options are typically running, skipping, cycling, and swimming. Running is a workout that, in a matter of minutes, can instantly improve your health and fitness levels as a whole, while skipping has gradually removed itself from being limited to child’s play and becoming an easy and fun way to lose weight for adults. Then you have cycling that is low-impact and very effective when done properly, while swimming is easuly one of the most popular and entertaining means of fitness on the list. Of those four options though, which one is the best route to take to burn more calories, gain more muscle, or lose more weight? Everyone has their opinion, but who is right? It is time to look at the cold, hard facts and settle this great debate once and for all!

In order to properly examine which workout is the best, it is important to look at each workout separately:

Running

Running is normally the last thing most people want to do, but could it possibly be the best form of exercise you can get? According to a study from the Stanford School of Medicine, running can possibly benefit participants from the moment they begin into their old age. Furthermore, a study published in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology concluded that even taking five or 10 minutes each day to go running can diminish the risk of death from cardiovascular diseases.

Running seems to be all that and a bag of chips, right? Well we have to take the good with the bad. Though seemingly a great workout, running for exercise is not exactly a low-impact exercise. This is why people who run find they may have aches and pains– it can sometimes take a toll on your ankles and knees! Another thing that most people do not consider is that running is not limited to sidewalks and parkgrounds. Treadmill running is another option that can bring great benefit, but also some issues. For one thing, treadmills are expensive, taking your average person out of the range of people who might be able to afford it. Also, treadmills, if not used properly, can be dangerous– more people are injured in running machine accidents than you would expect! So always make sure that you understand the machine and have someone with you when you are first using it to help ensure your safety!

Skipping

Skipping – a cl

assic example of child’s play. Normally reserved for those of a much younger age, adults are now beginning to pick up skipping exercises and pop them into their fitness routines! Yes, adults are actually skipping! It is said to be a gentler workout on your knees than running but offers up some solid results! Skipping rope is more comfortable for adults, can be either an independent or group activity, and can be a fun way to get your heart pumping! Tons of athletes skip to build muscle and endurance, and you can too! People who skip rope improve coordination, have a better full-body workout, and lose weight!

There is one downfall though: skipping rope is not the best workout for people who are already injured or disabled. People with heart problems, asthma, or joint problems are not the best candidates for this form of exercise. In addition, skipping rope is not necessarily a universal workout like swimming; sometimes it is best to be at a specific level of personal fitness to properly do the exercise, especially if you want to do those neat tricks that you see all the athletes do.

Cycling

Whether you are young or old, it is never too early or too late to learn how to ride a bike! Cycling, in whatever form a person may choose, can be extremely beneficial in a number of ways. For one, cycling is a low-impact exercise, being less likely to cause muscle strain or any sort of general injury than the previous two workouts mentioned. Also, cycling is a pretty universal activity – it is extremely rare to find someone who cannot do it or learn to do it! Another interesting tidbit about cycling is that it can work both your upper and lower body. This activity also improves balance and stamina, lowers the risk of diabetes, and it even helps arthritis and mental illness.

Although cycling is supposed to do wonders for the joints, the risk of improper equipment, form, and posture can cause one to suffer numerous back, shoulder and ankle problems that could keep them from being able to continue riding a bike outdoors or attending a spin class. In addition to those issues, the cost of proper biking equipment keeps a number of people from pursuing this biking lifestyle.

Swimming

The last workout in discussion is swimming! The art of swimming can arguably be considered one of the most fun ways to workout. Just think about it: you are in the water, weightless and flowing around freely. A swimming workout is relaxing and freeing! Studies have shown that swimming helps those with asthma cope better with their symptoms, aids people with disabilities, works as a therapy for people with injuries, and even helps improve balance.

There are, however, still a number of problems that can come with the idea of the water workout. One major problem with swimming is the chlorine. Chlorine is used to disinfect pools to get them ready for use, but they can also cause allergic reactions or irritate certain skin conditions, so be sure to check with your doctor before you dive in. A second problem that can come with a swimming workout is the possibility of cramping. Muscle cramps while in water can be both extremely scary and dangerous, which is why you don’t want to go swimming alone! Whether you are swimming in a creek or a public pool, always have someone with you at all times!

Conclusion

So, what is the verdict? Out of the four workouts mentioned above, which one is the best aerobic workout for you to do? All four exercises are excellent options, but as you can tell they all have their own individual risks associated with them. As shown with running and cycling, they are excellent workout options but they can easily run the risk of serious injury if not handled properly. Skipping and swimming can also be great ideas of some good cardio, but can be a huge stumbling block for people who are disabled or injured. In the end, it is really all up to you, your current state of health and your personal fitness and wellness goals. Take the time to really examine your current fitness level and talk to a doctor to help you figure out which workout is the best for you. All workouts have pros and cons, but at the end of the day it’s up to you to decide which one is best. So, which one best fits you?

 

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