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Whether you no longer have access to a swimming pool or simply want to try something different, multiple exercises can provide many of the same benefits as swimming. Swimming is a low-impact activity that burns over 500 calories in a 200-pound person when done continuously for one hour. Workouts that replace swimming should provide the same or similar benefits. The exercise you choose depends on whether you want a low-impact exercise, want to exercise the same muscles, or want to burn the same amount of calories.
Cycling is a low-impact activity that burns approximately 360 calories per hour in a 200-pound person when done at a leisurely pace. Like swimming, cycling improves cardiovascular fitness, works muscles in the lower body and is an ideal exercise for those with joint conditions. If you swam regularly due to problems with your hips, knees or legs, cycling is a good choice because it burns hundreds of calories per hour without placing stress on these body parts. Cycle for 30 minutes or more five times weekly on a stationary bike or bicycle to stay fit.
Rowing is similar to swimming because it works a variety of muscles in the upper and lower body, increases cardiovascular endurance and is easy on the joints. Rowing primarily works the quadriceps, but like swimming, it also works the biceps, calves, hamstrings, shoulders and back. A 200-pound person burns over 500 calories with one hour of rowing. This exercise stretches the muscles as well, allowing you to feel less stiff throughout the day. Use a stationary rower for 20 minutes or more a few times weekly to improve the function of your joints while getting a good aerobic workout.
According to HealthStatus.com, a 200-pound person burns over 1,000 calories per hour working out on an elliptical machine. Elliptical trainers exert the same amount of energy as running on a treadmill without placing stress on your knees, back and hips. Like swimming, elliptical training works muscles in the arms, legs and lower back, providing an upper and lower-body workout. Add variety to your fitness routine by performing aerobic exercises on a different machine each time you hit the gym. On the days that you work out on an elliptical trainer, exercise for at least 30 minutes at a moderate pace to ensure that you burn the same amount of calories you would burn while swimming.
Although jogging is not a low-impact exercise, it is an ideal swimming alternative for those without joint problems who want to burn 500 calories or more per hour. Jogging is a high-intensity, cardiovascular activity that lowers your risk of developing many heart- and weight-related ailments. According to ABC News, Danish researchers found that jogging one hour or more weekly can add at least six years to a person's life, which is another reason to pull out your running shoes. Like swimming, jogging can be done outdoors or indoors and requires no specialized equipment.