How Many Calories Are Burned By Running Rather Than Walking?

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How Many Calories Are Burned By Running Rather Than Walking?

Running and walking are both great exercise and burn calories very efficiently, but in different ways at different rates. Moderate running does burn calories faster than moderate walking and requires less warm-up time to be efficient.  Conversely, moderate walking involves lower orthopedic risks and is less stressful to your body as a whole.  In the end, only you can choose what works best for you.

Running vs. Walking

How to pick?  One way to look at running versus walking involves a look at how many calories both exercises burn.  Since each person has a different metabolism, don’t expect an exact calorie number for yourself here.  However, following are some basic facts that should give you sufficient information to help choose whether running or walking makes the most sense for your goals.

A 130 pound person running 5 miles per hour burns about 500 calories in an hour.  Walking for the same hour, this person burns only half as many calories at 3.5 mile per hour walk. However, total calories burned is not the whole story.

This typical 130 pound person might burn about 1,560 calories a day without special exercise.  That works out to about 65 calories an hour.  So, if 250 total calories are burned during that one hour walk, the walk itself actually burns only 185 net calories because the walker would have used the other 65 calories just for living, with or without the walk.

When viewed from the perspective of net calories burned, running, for those who can, begins to look like a much more useful weight loss tool because the 3.5 mile per hour walk burned only 185 extra calories while the 5 mile per hour run managed 435 net calories burned.  If that 130 pound example person is fit and can run 10 miles in an hour, 65 calories “just for living” remain the same but total calories burned jumps to 1030.  Therefore, net calories burned in this very athletic run are 965.  Again, this is for the very fit.  It can be done, but this rate of speed is not recommended for most people.  This 130 pound person is more likely to run between 5 and 6 miles per hour with net calories burned between 434 and 559 over the course of an hour.

Whether running or walking, the net calories you burn are determined not just by your workout but also by your metabolism.  As promised, here are some things you can do to improve your metabolism.  Beyond drinking enough water every day, make sure to eat breakfast and change your meal schedule to be more frequent (some say every three-four hours) with smaller, better balanced portions. Also, don’t be afraid of natural, unsaturated fat. Your body needs fat. Some low-fat diets can actually make it harder to lose fat.  Just keep your total fat intake within recommended limits (you should get 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories from fat).  Finally, either walking or running will not just burn calories but should also help improve your metabolism.

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