Archive for the tag - walking

Does Running and Walking Burn the Same Amount of Calories?

Dear Davey,

I’ve always been told that it doesn’t matter if you walk a mile or run a mile. Regardless, you burn the same amount of calories. After all, a mile is a mile. Is that really true?


running-shoes-male_650x366Dear Jon,

Your question actually points to a very common misconception! Yes, a mile is always a mile. That doesn’t change. But the energy required to move your body across the distance varies depending on your speed.

In fact, there have been numerous studies on the topic including this paper from California State University. For the study, 15 male and 15 female college students were recruited. One day, participants ran a mile in 10 minutes. On another day, they walked a mile in just over 18 minutes. Afterwards, they sat quietly for 30 minutes.

The data was very clear. While walking burned 88.9 calories, running burned 112.5. Moreover, after running, participants continued to burn calories at a higher rate compared to walking. After the mile walk, 21.7 calories were burned. After the mile run, on the other hand, 46.1 calories were burned. In total, the run resulted in 43% more calories burned.

But wait there’s more.

The mile run took less time. And with our busy schedules, efficiency is certainly something to consider. If you want to get a lot of workout bang in a short amount of time, running definitely comes out on top.

The bottom line is that it takes more energy to move our bodies at high rates of speed. A more intense workout simply burns more calories. While walking is a great form of exercise – and certainly less likely to result in injury – it won’t result in the same calorie burn as a run.


Study: Sit More, Die Sooner – Even if You Exercise.

According to a new study, it's important to shift our leisure time into more active pursuits - like walking, hiking and enjoying the outdoors.

According to a recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, sitting down for several hours a day increases your risk of dying.

The study, which followed 222,497 Australian adults for several years, found that individuals who sat for at least 11 hours a day had a 40% higher risk of dying within the next three years than people who sat for less than four hours a day.

And exercise doesn’t necessarily mitigate this risk. While regular exercisers had a lower risk of death than non-exercisers, the death risk still rose for active people who sat longer. In other words, your 30 or 60-minute gym routine doesn’t necessarily counteract the increased mortality risk from excessive sitting.

According to the researchers, excessive sitting can’t be blamed entirely on long work hours. In fact, it’s estimated that the average adult spends 90% of their leisure time sitting. And, if you think about the time we spend reading, watching TV, playing computer games or chatting on social networks, I’d have to agree.

The takeaway is pretty simple: Spend more time on your feet. While a stand-up desk could help, it’s important to shift our leisure time into more active pursuits – like taking hikes, walking, playing sports or enjoying the outdoors.

How Many Steps Is That Pizza?

A journey of a thousand miles may begin with a single step, but it takes 4,560 steps to burn the calories in a slice of pepperoni and cheese pizza. To put that into perspective, that translates to about two miles. Sobering, isn’t it?

Obviously, we need food to live – and calories are a necessity. But by being aware of the calorie content in some of these unhealthy food options, we can can make wiser decisions.

Courtesy of a company called GlobalFit, here are some of the top offenders:

  • One serving of mashed potatoes – 1,540 steps
  • One serving of chocolate ice cream – 1,980 steps
  • Macaroni and cheese – 2,640 steps
  • Large French fries – 6,000 steps
  • Slice of pepperoni pizza – 4,560 steps
  • Cheeseburger – 3,840 steps
  • Doughnut – 2,640 steps
  • Chocolate-chip cookie – 2,520 steps
  • Milk chocolate bar – 2,520 steps
  • 16 potato chips – 1,800 steps
  • Mug of beer – 1,680 steps
  • Can of cola – 1,680 steps
  • 4 cups of buttered popcorn – 1,488 steps
  • 10 thin pretzels – 1,320 steps

Of course, rather than focus our energy and attention on all these unhealthy foods, I think it’s much wiser to think about all the wonderful, colorful and nourishing healthy foods that are available to us.

And who eats just one slice of pizza, anyway?!

Does Running Burn More Calories than Walking?

Running his way into my heart.

Being in New York City and having walked nearly 100 blocks last night, I thought about the age-old adage that you burn as many calories walking as you do running. Obviously, this isn’t true per unit of time – you’d burn more calories running for ten minutes than walking for ten minutes. But what about per unit of distance? Would I have burned more calories if I had run the 100 blocks instead of walking them?

It turns out that the caloric difference between walking and running a mile is pretty minor, and that speed does play a small role. In general, the faster you go, the less efficient your body is – and thus, more calories burned. But the numbers aren’t as dramatic as you might expect and clearly a number of other variables come into play.

Calories burned per mile for a 160-lb person:

2.0 mph – 91
2.5 mph – 87
3.0 mph – 85
3.5 mph – 83
4.0 mph – 91
4.5 mph – 102
5.0 mph – 116
5.0 mph – 116
6.0 mph – 121
7.0 mph – 119
8.0 mph – 123
9.0 mph – 121
10.0 mph – 131

My 100-block walk was about 5 miles and we managed a 4.5 mph clip. That’s 510 calories. If I had done a fast 9 mph run, it would have amounted to 605 calories. That’s not a big difference considering the exertion of a 9 mph run. Of course, the run would have taken half the time – but with increased joint stress or injury risk than walking.

Just looking at the numbers, it’s easy to see why walkers swear by the exercise. Of course, calories burned while exercising don’t tell the full story. Runners can enjoy significant benefits after exercise is complete – like the huge metabolic increases associated with interval training. Plus, sweat is good for your body – and really great for your skin.

Are you a walker or a runner? What do you like best about it?

Best Cardio Exercises for Losing Weight.

When it comes to releasing weight, not all cardio exercises are created equal.

First, it’s important to understand how weight is released from the body. Weight release happens only when there is a calorie deficit; that is, more calories are used by the body than are taken in through food consumption.

The following exercises burn a tremendous amount of calories, and thus, are more helpful in creating the necessary calorie deficit that results in weight release:

  • Step Aerobics. Real men (and women) aren’t afraid of step classes. In a heart-pumping half hour, you can burn 400 calories.
  • Swimming. This is my favorite cardio exercise – I’ve recently incorporated it into my weekly routine. It’s low-impact on joints and high-impact on calories. If you have joint or knee trouble, this may be the route for you. You can burn 400 calories in a half hour doing the breast stroke.
  • Bicycling. Depending on the intensity and the course, you can burn 250 – 500 calories in 30 minutes. That’s not bad for an exercise that you can perform while sitting on you butt.
  • Running. Though higher-impact and certainly not for the faint of heart, running literally incinerates calories. In 30 minutes, I can burn through a whopping 600 calories.
  • Walking. Running isn’t for everyone. If you enjoy moving at a slower pace, walking may be a better fit. A 145-lb person typically uses 180 calories in 30-minutes of walking. Walk a hilly course for an extra challenge.
  • Jumping rope, sprinting and spinning oh my! These exercises are super high intensity. Try jumping rope for 15 or 20 minutes and you’ll torch nearly 200 calories.

Of course, the truly best cardio exercise for losing weight is the cardio exercise that you’ll perform regularly. Find something that you love – or at least like – and commit to doing it regularly. Know that it takes time, and be willing to put in the energy to achieve your weight release goals.