Millions of people enjoy walking each and every day. Walking certainly has its physical and mental benefits, but just how many calories do you burn walking? There is a lot of debate surrounding walking. Some people think you burn as many calories running one mile as you do walking, while others believe that walking does not benefit weight loss at all. So what’s the truth to these questions? Let’s take a look at the evidence to find out.
Test have shown that runner burn about 100 calories for every mile run. Some people take this information and say that walking a mile should then be about 100 calories as well. But what about the effort exerted running compared to walking? It certainly takes more energy to run than walk so it makes sense that running would burn more calories. But what is the truth?
A study done at the University of Syracuse studied twelve men and twelve women while running and walking on a treadmill. The men burned an average of 125 calories per 1,600 meters while running and only 87 while walking the same distance. The twelve women burned 104 running and 75 walking the same distance of 1,600 meters (approximately one mile). This data shows that running burns significantly more calories than walking, but it gets even more drastic when we talk about net calorie burn versus total calorie burn. What is net calorie burn? Net calorie burn is the number of calories burned after subtract the number of calories you would have burned anyway by doing nothing. This is called resting metabolic calorie burn.
Calculating the net calorie burn shows that running is far better than walking when it comes to burning calories. The researchers at Syracuse showed that when calculating net calorie burn, the net calories burned running were 50% more than walking. This isn’t to bash walking, but it shows that running is far more effective at burning calories. The net calories burned walking for the men were 53 compared to the 105 running, and 92 compared to 41 for women.
The intention of this article is not to bash walking.
Walking is a great way for people to burn calories, albeit at a slower pace than running. And don’t worry; there are studies that do support the health benefits of walking. In fact, a study done in the early part of the 21st century showed made the correlation between the Amish people’s amount of walking and their very low obesity rates. The study showed that the Amish take over six times the amount of steps per day than the average American. Their obesity rates are 90 percent lower than the general American population. What about running slow compared to fast-walking? This has to do with how fast you are walking and how slow you are running. There is a point in everyone’s stride where running actually becomes easier than walking. It’s at this point that walking will burn more calories than running. Other than that, running will always burn more calories than walking.
The following formulas are used as a general way to determine how many calories you burn while walking one mile:
.52 multiplied by your body weight in pounds = total calorie burn?.30 multiplied by your body weight in pounds = net calorie burn
The numbers disclosed by the Syracuse researchers should be taken with a grain of salt. Not everyone burns the same amount of calories doing physical activity. People who are in optimal shape with fast metabolisms will burn more calories doing either activity at a greater rate than someone with a slow metabolism.
So we’ve learned that running is better than walking, but walking is still a good way to burn calories. With this new knowledge in hand, you may want to either pick up your pace, increase the time spent walking, or both if you want to accelerate your weight loss while walking.
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