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The Truth About Running vs Walking Calories

The Truth About Running vs Walking Calories

Table of Contents

When choosing between running and walking for calorie burning, there are several factors to consider. Both activities offer numerous health benefits and can contribute to weight loss goals, but understanding the differences in calorie expenditure is essential.

This comprehensive blog post will delve into running versus walking calories. We will explore the impact of pace, body weight, duration, muscle engagement, and other key factors on the number of calories burned during these activities.

The Truth About Running vs Walking Calories

Table Summary

To provide a quick overview, let’s start with a table summarizing the main points discussed in this article:

TopicDescription
Running vs Walking CaloriesUnderstanding the calorie burn differences between running and walking
PersonFactors affecting calorie expenditure based on body weight
ActivitiesComparing different forms of exercise: walking and running
PaceImpact of speed on calorie burn
RiskEvaluating potential risks associated with each activity
Muscle EngagementExamining how muscles are utilized during running and walking
Health BenefitsHighlighting the various health benefits of both activities

Now that we have an outline of what lies ahead let’s dive deeper into each aspect.

Running vs Walking Calories

Person

An individual’s body weight significantly determines the calories burned during physical activity. Generally speaking, a higher body weight leads to increased energy expenditure. For instance, a 155-pound person burns approximately 314 calories per hour while walking at a moderate pace (3.5 mph), whereas a 185-pound person would burn around 372 calories under similar conditions.

Activities

Walking and running are two popular forms of exercise that offer cardiovascular benefits. Walking is a low-impact activity, making it suitable for individuals with joint pain or those who prefer a gentler workout. On the other hand, running is a high-impact exercise that elevates heart rate and engages different muscle groups more intensely.

Pace

The pace at which you engage in physical activity significantly affects calorie burn. Running generally burns more calories per minute than walking due to its higher intensity and increased cardiovascular demand. For example, a 160-pound individual would burn approximately 606 calories per hour while running at a moderate pace (5 mph), while walking at the same speed would result in burning around 314 calories per hour.

Risk

Both walking and running carry certain risks, although the level of risk may vary. Walking is typically lower impact and less likely to cause injuries like stress fractures or joint strain. However, runners may face a higher risk of injuries due to the repetitive nature of their movements. Choosing an exercise routine that aligns with your fitness level and minimizes the risk of injuries is crucial.

Muscle Engagement

Running engages more muscles compared to walking due to its higher impact nature. While both activities involve leg muscles, running emphasizes developing leg strength and endurance. Additionally, running has been associated with a positive effect on upper-body muscle activation compared to walking alone. Incorporating strength training exercises into your routine can further enhance muscle development.

Health Benefits

Both walking and running offer numerous health benefits beyond calorie burn. Cardiovascular exercise improves heart health by increasing lung capacity, enhancing blood circulation, reducing blood pressure levels, and lowering the risk of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease[^5^]. Moreover, regular physical activity contributes to weight management goals, boosts mood, reduces stress levels, promotes better sleep patterns, strengthens bones, and supports overall mental well-being.

See also
How To Start Running When You don't feel like it?

How Much Do You Burn When You Run?

How Much Do You Burn When You Run?

When you run, the number of calories burned depends on various factors such as your weight, speed, and intensity of the run. On average, running can burn around 100-200 calories per mile.

Research published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that runners burned 5 percent more calories per mile than walkers — about 6 to 9 percent more after sprinting versus jogging speeds. That means if you’re walking at 3 miles per hour (mph), you’ll burn about 60 calories per mile; at 5 mph, you’ll burn about 90 calories per mile; and at 10 mph, you’ll burn about 180 calories per mile.

How Much Do You Burn When You Walk?

The number of calories burned when you walk depends on various factors, such as your weight, speed, and terrain. On average, a 160-pound person burns about 314 calories per hour of brisk walking.

According to The American Council on Exercise (ACE), a person weighing 150 pounds will burn approximately 120 calories in 30 minutes while walking at 3 mph. If the same person were to walk at a 4 mph pace, they would burn about 160 calories in 30 minutes. And if they walked at a 5 mph pace, they would burn approximately 200 calories in that half hour.

The number of calories burned while walking will depend on the individual’s weight, the intensity of the activity, and how long they are walking for.

The Calorie Burn Difference

Factors influence how many calories are burned while running or walking

To further illustrate the differences in calorie burn between running and walking, let’s consider a few scenarios:

  • For a 160-pound individual:
    • Running at a moderate pace (5 mph) burns approximately 606 calories per hour.
    • Walking briskly (4 mph) burns around 314 calories per hour.
  • For a 135-pound woman:
    • Running at an average pace (6 mph) burns about 590 calories per hour.
    • Walking at a moderate pace (3.5 mph) leads to burning roughly 314 calories per hour.

These examples emphasize that running generally burns more calories than walking due to its higher intensity and increased muscle engagement. However, it’s important to remember that individual factors such as body weight and fitness level can impact these numbers.

Calorie Burn Table

The following table provides valuable data on calorie burn for various body weights during both running and walking sessions:

Body Weight (pounds)Calories Burned per Hour: Running (Moderate Pace)Calories Burned per Hour: Walking (Brisk Pace)
125472245
155590306
185708367

This table highlights the differences in calorie expenditure based on body weight, making it easier for individuals to estimate their potential calorie burn during running or walking sessions.

To better understand the differences in calorie burn between running and walking, let’s take a look at the following table:

Body WeightRunning (30 minutes)Walking (30 minutes)
135 lbs250 calories142 calories
155 lbs298 calories167 calories
185 lbs356 calories200 calories

As seen from the table, running generally burns more calories compared to walking due to its higher intensity and increased engagement of muscles.

See also
How Many Calories Does Running Burn?

Benefits of Walking and Running

Benefits of Walking

On the other hand, walking provides its own benefits that make it an accessible and effective form of exercise. Some key benefits include:

  1. Health Benefits: Walking offers various health benefits, such as improved cardiovascular health, reduced risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, and enhanced lung function.
  2. Weight Loss: Although walking burns fewer calories than running, it can still contribute to weight loss goals when combined with a healthy diet. Walking briskly for an extended period can help create a calorie deficit.
  3. Low-Impact Activity: Walking is a low-impact activity that puts minimal stress on joints and muscles, making it suitable for individuals with joint pain or those seeking a lower-intensity workout.
  4. Mental Health: Like running, walking also positively affects mental health by reducing stress levels and improving mood. It provides an opportunity for relaxation and introspection while enjoying the outdoors.
  5. Accessibility: Walking requires no special equipment other than comfortable shoes, making it accessible to individuals of all fitness levels and ages.

Brisk Walking

Walking at a brisk pace offers numerous health benefits. It is considered low impact, making it an excellent form of exercise for individuals with joint pain or those new to fitness routines. Brisk walking can help improve cardiovascular health, aid in weight management goals by creating a calorie deficit, strengthen leg muscles, enhance bone health, and boost mood and mental well-being.

Benefits of Running

What are the health benefits of running?

Running offers various health benefits that make it an excellent form of exercise for weight loss and overall wellness. Some key benefits include:

  1. Weight Loss: Running can contribute significantly to weight loss goals as it burns more calories per minute than walking. It helps create a calorie deficit by expending energy stored as fat.
  2. Cardiovascular Health: Running is a high-impact cardiovascular exercise that promotes heart health. It increases heart rate and blood circulation, improving cardiovascular fitness and reducing risk of heart disease.
  3. Muscle Development: Running engages multiple muscle groups in the lower body, such as the leg muscles, glutes, and calves. Regular running can help strengthen these muscles and improve overall muscle tone.
  4. Mental Health: Engaging in regular running has been shown to positively affect mental health by reducing stress levels and promoting a better mood by releasing endorphins.
  5. Bone Health: Running is considered a weight-bearing exercise that helps build and maintain bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and promoting stronger bones.

Running vs Walking: The Bottom Line

To present information in a concise and user-friendly manner, let’s explore the benefits of walking and running using bullet points:

Benefits of Walking:

  • Low-impact activity suitable for individuals with joint pain or those new to fitness routines.
  • Improves cardiovascular health.
  • Aids in weight management by creating a calorie deficit.
  • Strengthens leg muscles.
  • Enhances bone health.
  • Boosts mood and mental well-being.

Benefits of Running:

  • Provides a higher-intensity cardiovascular workout compared to walking.
  • Increases aerobic capacity.
  • Contributes to weight loss goals through rapid calorie burn.
  • Improves cardiovascular health.
  • Increases endurance.
  • Builds leg strength and muscle mass.
  • Reduces body fat percentage.
  • Contributes to overall fitness improvements.
See also
How running actually improves your health

These bullet points offer a clear overview of the benefits associated with both activities.

Choosing Between Running and Walking

When deciding between running and walking as your preferred form of exercise, several factors should be considered depending on your personal health goals and preferences:

  1. Fitness Level: Assess your fitness level before choosing between running or walking. Beginners may find walking more suitable initially to build endurance gradually before transitioning into running.
  2. Body Weight: Individuals with higher body weights may find running more challenging due to increased joint impact. In such cases, starting with brisk walking can be a safer option until weight loss goals are achieved.
  3. Risk of Injuries: Running is a higher-impact activity with a greater risk of injuries such as stress fractures or shin splints than walking. Individuals with a history of injuries or joint issues may consider walking to reduce the risk.
  4. Time and Convenience: Consider the time you can allocate to exercise and the convenience of your chosen activity. Running generally requires more time and planning while walking can be easily incorporated into daily routines.
  5. Personal Preference: Choose an activity you enjoy and can stick with in the long run. Consistency is key when it comes to achieving fitness goals.

FAQs

How many calories can you burn from running?

Running can help you burn around 600 to 800 calories per hour.

How many calories can you burn from walking?

Walking can help you burn around 200 to 400 calories per hour.

Which is better for weight loss, running or walking?

Both running and walking can contribute to weight loss, but running generally burns more calories and may yield faster results.

Can I lose weight by just walking every day?

Yes, you can lose weight by walking every day if you create a calorie deficit. Consistency and duration of the walks are key factors.

Is running or walking better for joint health?

Walking is generally considered to be lower impact and gentler on the joints compared to running.

Conclusion

In summary, when choosing between running and walking for calorie burn and overall fitness benefits, it’s vital to consider individual factors such as body weight, fitness level, preferences, and potential risks. Running generally burns more calories per minute due to its higher intensity; however, brisk walking offers numerous health advantages while being more low impact. Both activities contribute positively to cardiovascular health, weight management goals, mood enhancement, strengthening muscles, including the legs, improving bone density, reducing the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease or diabetes, and supporting overall mental well-being.

Finding an exercise routine that aligns with your goals, preferences, and physical capabilities is crucial. Whether you choose running or walking as your primary form of exercise, remember that consistency is key. Always consult a healthcare professional or qualified fitness trainer to assess your current fitness level and receive personalized guidance on creating an effective exercise program tailored to your needs.

Remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle goes beyond calorie burn. It involves nourishing your body with a balanced diet, staying hydrated, getting sufficient rest, managing stress levels, and incorporating other forms of physical activity that bring you joy and support your overall well-being.

So lace up your walking shoes or tie those running sneakers and embark on a journey towards improved health and fitness. Happy walking or running!

References