Pitting two of the most practiced cardio sports against each other, we aim to find out which of them is best suited to our future weight loss goals.
In the constant debate about which is the best exercise for weight loss, the choice between running and walking is always a topic of discussion. While some emphasize the intensity of running, others emphasize the physical and mental benefits of a good daily walk. Let’s see what the science says about it and who burns the most calories.
Most specialists agree that a combination of sport and a balanced diet is the key to sustainable weight loss. However, the choice between running and walking can depend on various factors, and here the main question comes: does running or walking burn more calories?
What is the best exercise to burn calories and lose weight?
To answer this question, it is necessary to understand that, in terms of distance, both activities burn approximately the same calories. The difference lies in the time we need to do the exercise and, therefore, in the calories burned per minute.
According to doctor and personal trainer Alex Harrison, the difference in calories between walking and running can be from 10 to 30 percent, depending on various factors such as the condition and experience of the runner. Running, due to its more intense nature, burns more calories per minute than walking. Let’s take an example: a 75 kg person burns about 13 calories per minute running and only 7.6 walking.
The ‘metabolic equivalent of a task’ (MET) also plays an important role in this equation. This is a measure that scientists use to measure the body’s energy consumption. More intense activities, such as running, require more METs than moderate activities, such as walking.
A study published in 2013, which looked at 47,000 people, supports the idea that running burns more calories than walking. Runners consumed almost double the number of calories compared to those who chose to walk at a brisk pace.
Running vs. walking: what are the benefits of these activities?
But the issue goes beyond the calories burned during exercise. Running has a “fat burning effect” that lasts over time even after your training, something that walking can’t match.
So, what is the best weight loss option? The answer can depend on many factors, such as weight, intensity and speed. Although walking burns fewer calories per minute, the physical and mental benefits are significant. In addition to contributing to weight loss, walking provides other benefits, such as reducing cholesterol and hypertension, and helps fight against cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.