Use the calories burned swimming calculator to estimate how much energy you’ll expend during swimming activities. Swimming is a great calorie-burning, muscle-toning, and heart/lungs-conditioning form of physical activity.
Learn more about its benefits and how to use our calculator below.
Swimming isn’t just for cooling down during the summer or having fun with friends and family. It’s also undoubtedly one of the most effective cardio activities (and a sport too, of course).
There are so many physical benefits to taking up swimming from burning calories to losing body fat/weight and improving your cardiovascular fitness as well. Not to mention, it’s a great stress-reliever and many find it to be very enjoyable.
It’s also very low-impact so if you’re overweight or obese, it’s much safer on your joints than jogging or running.
Now, you will burn calories just moving around in the water since you are working against a form of resistance. Because if you’ve ever swum in a pool or if you do it regularly, you know how absolutely exhausting it can be.
But for the purpose of this calculator, you’ll get the most accurate estimate based on one of the common swimming styles/strokes (we’ll get to that shortly).
Therefore, we recommend using the calculator if you take swimming seriously as a form of physical activity; not if you just do a little doggy paddling and sip on a pina colada every now and then in between…
Although, you can use the formula to manually plug in your leisurely swimming activity information based on metabolic equivalents (METs), and you’ll learn how many calories you’ve burned.
Another option is to use our calories burned calculator to learn how much energy you’ll expend, with over 250 exercises to choose from.
Before we talk more about swimming, let’s first go over how to use the calories burned swimming calculator.
How Does The Swimming Calculator Work?
First off, the calculator uses your weight, and duration in minutes, as these are key components used to determine calories burned during swimming.
To use the calculator…
First, choose your desired unit of measurement: Imperial (lbs and inches) or Metric (kg and cm).
Then, you’ll input your weight, enter your swim time (duration), and include the distance swam.
Next, you’ll select your swimming type which includes either of the following.
- Front crawl
- Back crawl
- Side stroke
Lastly, you’ll find the distance type (i.e., 25-yard pool, 25-meter pool, miles, kilometers, etc).
Hit calculate and you’ll get an estimate of calories burned during swimming!
With this calculator, you can compare swimming activities and choose the ones that you feel may offer you the best bang for your buck regarding calories burned.
Now let’s talk about the Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) of each swimming activity to make better sense of how it works on a more technical level.
What Is Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) and How Does It Factor Into Calories Burned Swimming?
MET is based on your basal metabolic rate (metabolism), or how much energy your body uses at rest.
The intensity of various activities or levels of physical activity is rated using METs/.
For example, walking slowly or being minimally active falls within a low MET range. That’s because these activities use fewer calories than jogging, playing sports, or doing anything more physically demanding.
So intense sports would be more like 6.0+ METs and then you’d have moderate-intensity activities somewhere in between.
Here are basic ranges of METs based on activity intensity.
- Light exercise (1.6-3.0 METs)
- Moderate (3.0-6.0 METs)
- Vigorous (6.0+ METs)
Swimming activities are rated accordingly. So, that’s why these specific factors have to be taken into consideration before determining an approximate number of calories burned.
How To Calculate Calories Burned Swimming With The Formula
We’ve provided the formula or equation for calories burned swimming below.
- Calories burned per minute = duration in minutes x (MET * body weight in kg * 3.5) / 200
To help you plug in the numbers here’s a chart that has the METs for each swimming activity.
|TYPE OF ACTIVITY||MET||CALORIES BURNED|
|Tubing, floating on a river, general||2.3||154|
|Treading water, moderate, general||3.5||234|
|Water aerobics, water callsthenics||5.5||368|
|Laps, freestyle, front crawl, slow, light or moderate effort||5.8||388|
|Lake, ocean, river||6||401|
|Leisurely, not lap swimming, general||6||401|
|Crawl, medium speed, ~50 yards / minute, vigorous effort||8.3||555|
|Backstroke, general, training or competition||9.5||635|
|Treading water, fast, vigorous effort||9.8||655|
|Laps, freestyle, fast, vigorous effort||9.8||655|
|Crawl, fast speed, ~75 yards / minute, vigorous effort||10||668|
|Breaststroke, general, training or competition||10.3||688|
manual labor, lifting ≥ 50 lbs, heavy maintenance
So let’s say you weigh 140 lbs or 63.5029kg, and you swam for 30 minutes using the side stroke technique. You’d plug in the numbers as shown below.
30 (swim time) x 7 (MET) x 63.5029 (weight in kg) x 3.5 / 200.
30 x 7 x 63.5029 x 3.5/200 = 233 kcal burned swimming.
It’s really that simple. So, you could find the MET for any activity; not just swimming, and plug it in to find calories burned during your activity of choice.
How Many Calories Are Burned Swimming?
Again, this depends on weight, distance/speed, and also the stroke. It wouldn’t make sense to provide a number because it varies and you want to get the most accurate number possible, especially if you’re trying to achieve a specific goal.
As you can see from the chart, calories burned during swimming also varies depending on the swimming style.
For example, the general breastroke, on average, burns 688 calories, while the butterfly burns about 922 calories.
However, your weight and the duration/distance will give a more accurate number of calories burned since you can’t just go by these numbers for all activities and exercise sessions.
Can I Lose A Lot of Weight Swimming?
Totally! But the total amount of weight loss depends on several individual factors such as gender, age, weight, height, duration/swimming intensity, overall activity, diet, health, etc.
You have to be in an energy deficit to lose body weight which means you’ll need to consume fewer calories than your body needs or you can just be more active to create the desired deficit.
We recommend using our macro calculator to ensure that you’re eating the right amount of calories to reach your weight goal, but it’ll help you to eat the correct ratio of macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fat) to preserve and build muscle too, if you’re resistance training, of course.
Good habits will almost always cause faster weight loss, not to mention, being consistent is key for keeping it off.
Related: The Top 20 Simple Weight Loss Tips
Advantages of swimming to burn calories
Swimming, as previously mentioned, has many advantages; a big one being that it’s a low-impact form of cardio. This is ideal for overweight and obese individuals and even those who are recovering from an injury or experience joint pain.
Of course, there are several more reasons why swimming is a great option and it’s a nice change of pace from other forms of physical activity.
And if you live in a really hot place, well, no explanation needed for why swimming is a great choice of exercise.
You can also get competitive with it to keep in shape as well.
Is Swimming Better Than Running For Burning Calories?
This is another example of, “it depends” because when it comes to exercise and the body, there are just far too many variables to consider.
When it comes to swimming, the style and duration are huge factors in how many calories you can burn per session.
Although, on average, running typically burns a little more calories per hour.
But swimming is a great, low-impact activity and, again, a better option for a lot of people compared to running and jogging.
Turns out that the calories burned swimming calculator is a very useful tool, especially if you spend any amount of time in a swimming pool or any body of water for that matter.
We’ve included an easy-to-read chart with METs and average burned. But we suggest using the calculator for a more accurate number. If you can’t find your activity, you can locate the MET per any swimming activity and enter it manually as well.
If you have any questions about this calculator, leave your comments below and we’ll do our best to get back to you.