Does Walking or Running Burn More Calories?

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A flatter belly, thinner hips, firmer thighs….we all want them! And the good news is, we can all have them! It’s no secret that one of my favorite belly-fat blasters and hip shrinkers is walking. But can walking really burn as many calories as running? Today, I’ve simplified the facts for you.

As you know, two of the most popular forms of exercise are walking or running. But which one burns more calories? There are four criteria that go into any exercise….they are: how much you weigh, what your current fitness level is, how long you exercise, and how fast/hard you exercise.

Let’s compare walking to jogging. It would take A 160-lb 30 mins to burn 380 calories if she was running a 10-minute mile. It would take that same woman an hour to burn 380 calories if she was walking a 15-minute mile. You see, moderate running burns more calories, but here’s the good news…you can amp up the intensity of your walks by increasing your speed.

So how do you increase your walking speed? One of the first things to think about is the arm swing. When you walk, the speed of your arms affects the speed of your legs. So imagine bending your arms at a 90-degree angle. From there, pump your arms to reach up to chest level, and then back to hip level. That pumping action will start to help you increase the speed of your walk. But take note that this action isn’t a big windshield wiper pumping action! It’s small and controlled.

Another trick to increase the calories you burn by walking is to watch your feet! Strike the ground with your heel and let your foot roll forward naturally. At the end of your stride, really push off with your toes, to propel your body forward. Concentrate on pulling up your toes as your legs swing forward. At faster paces, you’ll start catching them on the ground. Use a stride length that’s comfortable for you. Don’t over-stride.

Exercising at a higher intensity burns more calories per minute. So if you decide you want to walk instead of run because of either personal preference or injury, just remember that you’ll have to walk a further distance or with increased intensity than if you were running. This is why the physical activity recommendations for adults are either 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (brisk walking) per week or 75 minutes of vigorous (running or jogging) physical activity per week in addition to strength training.

The more you weigh, the more calories you burn! Now, I’m not saying to go out and gain weight…but it’s still a fact you should know!

The more fit you are, the less calories you burn doing the same intensity as somebody of lesser fitness level. To get around this, just increase your intensity! The good news here is that you burn more calories from fat the more fit you are.  

So taking all of these four points into consideration, you can turn your walk into a calorie-burning workout by increasing the intensity of your walks, pumping your arms, and watching your stride.

Here’s to your health!