Walking vs. Running: What Burns More Calories?

Assuming that if you run faster than you walk, you will burn more calories by running the 2 miles.Let’s do the math: If you weigh 150 pounds (68 kilograms) and walk the 2 miles in 30 minutes (4 mph or 6.4 kph), then you will burn approximately 170 calories (or 5.7 calories per minute). If you were to jog the 2 miles in 20 minutes (6 mph or 9.7 kph,) then you would burn approximately 230 calories (11.4 calories per minute). So, in addition to completing the 2 miles faster, the net result is that jogging burns more calories.

Now, let’s complicate things. It’s not really about walking vs. jogging, it’s about the speed maintained. Some people can walk faster than other people can jog. In this instance, the walker is burning more calories per minute that the jogger. More importantly, most people do not jog that much faster than they fast-walk and they are able to walk much longer than they can jog. For these people, fast walking is often a preferable exercise to jogging.

Learn more ways to burn calories in the Everyday Health Fitness Center.

Dr. Tim Church is the director of the Laboratory of Preventive Medicine at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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