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MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (73,688)
Fitness Minutes: (54,597)
Posts: 2,170
11/13/12 2:27 A

There is a detailed calories burned calculator here:

If you like swimming, that is great, regardless of how many calories you burn. The point is to be able to stick to at least one type of exercise over the long term.

Edited by: MPLANE37 at: 11/13/2012 (02:29)
MARICH3 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (8,513)
Posts: 75
11/12/12 1:47 P

Thanks people for your advice and comments. I have done some more research and the calories on the SP are wrong about 30mins will burn apprx 367 calories. I got my research from the website. But like you all have said it is not the calories but the amount of time,you actually swim. So I will keep doing my swim as it burns fat cells as well as making me fitter. Thanks again

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
11/11/12 10:54 P

Spark hasn't got the resources to conduct their own studies.

If other studies haven't made their data available to sites like Spark to use yet, they can't incorporate it yet. They probably only have that particular option for swimming because that's the only study they can include at this point.

They're really not sitting around going "We just don't like swimmers"... :)

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (66,733)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
11/11/12 4:16 P

I can't tell you anything about the science behind it, but I'm pretty sure that the SparkPeople measurements for swimming are inaccurate.

I know that I am swimming a mile (backstroke) in 35 minutes and it would be great if we could log our actual distance or rate of speed. I'm not sure why this is doable for running and walking but not swimming.

SALONKITTY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (6,605)
Posts: 672
11/11/12 12:30 P

The SP tracker surely overestimates my calories burned, too (kettlebell training). I think I'd have to be performing solid one-arm snatches for the entire duration of my workout to burn that many calories, which I'd reckon is pretty much impossible for the vast majority of humans. With that in mind, I don't pay much mind to "calories burned," but more to other markers of fitness, such as increased stamina and strength. I am more concerned with how much time I spend doing an activity, and at what intensity level than I am with the actual calories burned. This overestimation does make the whole SP program wonky, as your assumed calories burned are vastly different than what they actually are, and the tracker will suggest you up your caloric intake.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,291
11/10/12 11:26 P

While speed is largely irrelevant for walking, with swimming, the energy required to overcome the resistance of the water increases significantly as you go faster. (With boat design, double the speed requires 8 times the power - the 'cube rule').

I agree with Unident, figures greater than 800 calories per hour should be regarded with great skepticism.


MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (73,688)
Fitness Minutes: (54,597)
Posts: 2,170
11/10/12 9:47 P

I don't think you are burning the same when you are swimming slow. Moving in the water is extremely efficient when you are slow, because water won't resist then. The problem is moving fast, then water resists much more. Swimming is similar to biking in that respect. When you cycle very slowly, you burn less than walking. When you swim slowly, you may be burning less than walking.

Thus, get an HRM if you plan on swimming slow, and then try to hit a min. heart rate, or even your HRM will be off in the calories predicted.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
11/10/12 3:30 P

With walking, at least, it's distance covered that matters, not how fast you did it. But when you log slower walks you end up with more "BMR" in that value.

The same is probably true for swimming.

1175 in 50 minutes is 23.5 calories per minute. Most exercise is 6-10cpm. Heavy people or extremly high intensity exercise can generate 12-14cpm.

Anything over 15/16 or so is pretty much impossible. So yes, I would strongly doubt that figure.

Have you googled "swimming calories" and seen what other sites say? Is there an average figure elsewhere that seems more reasonable?

BTW, did you spend 50 minutes doing breaststroke, or 50 minutes in the pool, with a turnaround every 25 metres and maybe a short rest every 1-2 turns? For me, 50 minutes in the pool would probably equate to maybe 30 minutes swimming. Entering "50 minutes breaststroke" is like saying you started at one side of a huge lake and swam right across to the other all the way without stopping.

Edited by: UNIDENT at: 11/10/2012 (15:31)
MARICH3 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (8,513)
Posts: 75
11/10/12 2:32 P

Does swimming slow burn as many calories has going fast.I did 50 minutes of slow breast stroke swimming and the predicted calories burnt were 1175 surely that's too much. Can any one explain the science behind this please

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