Walking vs Running – What is Better for Burning Fat?

If you’re attempting to lose weight, you might be asking the question what’s better walking or running? The benefits of walking vs running is an ongoing debate and there have been many tests and surveys to determine which is better and more efficient for weight loss purposes.

Are we comparing apples to oranges here? Maybe, but there are studies to prove that running results in greater weight loss due to its higher intensity. A vigorous exercise can increase the metabolic rate of the body more and this results in more calories being burned, as compared to a less intensive activity.

In addition, you spend 2 ½ times more energy while running than while walking. To put it plainly, a 62 kg person will burn around 800 calories in a an hour while running at a speed of 8 mph, compared to burning 300 calories if walking at 3.5 mph.

That said, are we comparing apples to oranges here? Running and walking have different sets of benefits for your body and walking does have a lot going for it.

Let’s check out the relative pros and cons of walking vs running

How Running/Walking Works

  • If you’re unsure about walking or running for weight loss, both offer efficient ways to lose calories, being a high intensity exercise. Energy continues to be expended even after the run.
  • Walking after a meal helps you control blood sugar, so that you don’t experience those cravings for more food after a meal.
  • Inclines and uphill walking or running also help you build more muscle and this improves metabolic rates.
  • Picking up your walking/running pace for a minute at intervals also helps burn additional calories.
  • The extra arm swinging during walking also burns more calories and strengthens your shoulder and core muscles.

Benefits of Running for Weight Loss

  • While considering the pros and cons of walking versus running, walking is cheap. You can run without the use of any gadgets and gears. You might have a GPS gadget, but it isn’t exactly necessary. All you need is a good pair of running shoes.
  • Running gives you a high, a floaty sensation. This is important, as you start enjoying the exercise and this ensures consistency.
  • It increases the metabolic rate of the body, so that your body continues to burn calories even while doing other activities.
  • It liberates you and lifts you from depressing thoughts.
  • It keeps your heart healthy.
  • It suppresses your appetite and reduces calorie consumption after a long run, all you’re looking for is a glass of water.
  • You start eating healthy food that are low in calories, as your body starts reacting well to healthy foods, forcing your mind towards good eating habits. This results in weight loss.

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Walking vs Running: How to Run to Lose Weight

  • Run for about 5 minutes at your highest speed. Jog slowly for 4 minutes. Continue this cycle four times.
  • Another option is to run at the same steady pace without intervals. Run for ten minutes at a moderate pace and after warming up run at your maximum speed for the next 20 minutes. Cool off with a slow run for a few minutes.
  • Run at least three to four times in a week for about an hour.
  • Start by walking. Walking can be your first step to prepare your body for running. You can even mix walking and running and with time, you can start straight runs. Run and walk alternatively and then slowly ease into a regular running program.
  • Wear proper running shoes.

Benefits of Walking to Lose Weight

  • It is a cheap form of exercise and comes with low risks.
  • Is walking as good as running? Well, the advantage with walking is that you can easily incorporate it into your daily routine.
  • Is walking good exercise? Though walking is a less intense form of exercise, as compared to running, you can increase the intensity by walking uphill or on inclines to burn more calories.

Is walking better than running(Image: treadmillreviews.net)

  • Walking preserves and even increases building of lean muscle while reducing weight. It also prevents muscle loss and strengthens muscles. This helps in preventing the drop of metabolic rates.
  • It helps reduce belly fat.
  • Walk at a brisk pace using a fitness tracker for motivation.
  • Walking can lead to weight loss gradually. Additionally, it offers other health benefits like reduced risk of heart problems.

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Walking vs Jogging

  • Jogging and walking are exercises with differing intensities and cannot be directly compared.
  • Walking is a moderate exercise whereas running is an intensive exercise.
  • Running has the advantage of burning more calories, as it is more intense
  • As far as risk of injury is concerned, there is a lower risk in walking.

Tip: To reduce risks, wear proper running shoes that fit well and offer good cushioning as well as stability. Run on smooth surfaces.

  • Walking is better for those who are not very fit and for elderly people who have some medical problems, joint problems and so on.
  • Power walking can burn nearly the same amount of calories as jogging or running. When considering power walking vs running, you should maintain at least a speed of 4 to 5 miles per hour for maximum calorie burn.

Power walking - benefits of walking vs running

  • There is not much difference between fast walking and running, as far as calorie burn is concerned. The difference in speed walking and running is that the movements are called steps in walking, whereas they are called strides in running. Running or jogging also involves a jumping motion.

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Wrap Up

You’ll lose weight with any kind of workout, as you end up burning calories. However, running is a more intense exercise as compared to walking, so you’d have to walk more to burn the same number of calories.

  • Is walking better than running or vice versa?
  • Does this mean that you should now ditch walking and turn to running instead?

Not necessarily. If you have a proper walking schedule, you can still burn calories efficiently with an efficient walking program.

The best plan for you to lose weight would be one that you really enjoy doing. This is because you are more likely to do an activity consistently if you love and enjoy it. So, walk it out or run it out, you’re sure to see positive results. You could even mix walking workouts with a running routine to lose weight. Both are winners.

So what are you waiting for? Just slip on those walking/running shoes, put on your ear plugs and pick your terrain.

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