Aqua jogging and swimming are both cardiovascular exercises with multiple health benefits. Both are low-impact exercises that are easy on the joints, so you can safely burn calories during each activity. Your form, intensity level and weight affects your caloric burn rate -- the more you weigh, the more calories you'll burn per hour.
Aqua jogging is a low-impact form of exercise that is usually done in sessions of at least 15 minutes in length. When you maintain your natural running posture with knees high, back straight, abdominal muscles strong and your heart rate above 135 beats per minute, a 130-pound person can burn about 472 calories per hour. If you weigh 155 pounds, you can burn about 563 calories per hour. If you weigh 180 pounds, you can burn about 654 calories per hour. Some aqua joggers exercise in deep water, which requires a flotation belt and aqua shoes. This gear, plus optional hand weights or ankle weights, might change your resistance and intensity level as well as your caloric burn rate.
If you enjoy swimming and want to exercise but you aren't a lap swimmer, you'll still burn calories although not as many as you would if you were aqua jogging. Swimming leisurely has a lower caloric burn rate than lap swimming, but if you weigh around 130 pounds, you can still burn about 355 calories per hour. A 155-pound person -- about 420 calories. A 180 pound swimmer -- 490 calories per hour.
Backstroke and Freestyle Swimming
Beginning lap swimmers can burn between 400 to 575 calories per hour, depending on weight. More specifically, a 130-pound person burns about 410 calories per hour swimming the backstroke or a slow freestyle stroke. A 155-pound person burns about 495 calories, a 180-pound person, about 575 calories per hour. Increasing the speed of the stroke increases the caloric burn rate. Swimming freestyle more quickly burns 590 to 817 calories per hour: A 130-pound person, can burn 590 calories per hour; a 155-pound person, about 700 calories per hour; and a 180-pound person, about 815 calories per hour.
Breaststroke and Treading Water
Swimming breaststroke has a higher caloric burn rate. A 130-pound person burns approximately 590 calories per hour, a 155-pound person burns about 700 per hour, and a 180-pound breaststroke swimmer, about 815 per hour. Don't worry if you take a break from swimming laps to tread water instead -- the caloric burn rate is the same.
Many swimmers think of the butterfly stroke as the most vigorous and challenging stroke. The arm movements and kick differ from every other stroke and the caloric burn rate proves it. The average 130-pound swimmer burns 649 calories per hour, a 155-pound swimmer can burn about 775 calories per hour, and a 180-pound swimmer burns about 900 calories per hour doing the butterfly stroke.
Aline Lindemann is a health, food and travel writer. She has also worked as a social worker, preschool teacher and art educator. Lindemann holds a Master of Liberal Studies in culture, health and creative nonfiction writing from Arizona State University.