Not sure if you'd take advice from a Tulanian but here goes:
The reason running is such an effective exercise for burning calories is primarily the size of the muscles used and the duration of the exercise itself.
To illustrate the point. Assume one person is doing squats and another person is doing bicep curls for 1/2 hour each. The person doing the squats will burn more calories because the size of the quads and hams is so much bigger than the bicep.
Although swimming is a great exerise for all-around fitness (and toning). For pure metabolic burn, running, rowing, biking are superior because they engage bigger muscles over a long period of time.
Hope that helps...
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