How Many Calories Burned Walking?

How to calculate calories burned Walking v Running?

Surely everyone knows it must be running that comes out on top. But, it depends! What metric are you using to measure Calories Burned?

How Many Calories Burned Walking

Walking a route and running the same route burn almost the same amount of calories. What? Pick me off the floor and say that again!

That’s right, they burn about the same amount of calories, but it’s the rate of calorie burn that differs drastically. Calories burned/minute, per second, per hour. Or, more simply put calories burned over time.

How many calories burned walking per mile?

Calories Burned Walking a Mile

Wow, here’s the magic. Calories burned per mile only differs from between 10 and 30% depending on the person’s running style and comparative fitness level. Wow, that’s amazing, especially for me, as I am currently, once again, in recovery mode.

I’ve just had my left knee replaced and on my second recovery run after the op’, cross country, and while feeling great, I twisted my right knee and tore my medial ligament. Great, back to square one. Loads of pain, no activity and the nightmare of putting on weight again.

It’s now around 3 months later and the pain has only just become bearable enough to do walks, so I thought I’d do some research into how many calories I am burning, or more precisely “How Many Calories Burned Walking”. Some of the facts amazed me, which is why I’m sharing them with you.

Calories Burned Walking v Running Per Minute

The statistics shown here are for two people of roughly the same weight taking the same route, but with one walking and the other running. The person running was judged to be burning just over 13 calories per minute and the walker 7.5 calories per minute.

The walker took almost twice as long to complete the route as the runner. So as a rough rounding up exercise they both burned almost the same amount of calories on the route give or take 10-30%, but the runner did it in half the time. This is good news for me, as I have lots of time and my knee is in too much discomfort to run.

Calories Burned Walking – Calories Burned in Recovery?

Calories Burned Walking in Recovery

Now we are moving into the Runner’s area of advantage. Our bodies only store small amounts of energy on hand for quick bursts of activity. Anything used more than that has to be replenished from stores of energy.
Scientists use units called Metabolic Energy for Tasks (METs) to approximate the rough amount of Calorific usage for given tasks.

Watching the TV/Resting should take 1 MET, Walking/Moderate Exercise 3 METs and Running/Vigorous Exercise 6 METs.

So what the scientists are saying is that the more intense the activity, the greater the demand for calories from Glycogen and Fat stores.

Walking is less intense and therefore less demanding of calories than running, so it doesn’t demand calories to be burned at the same rate as something more intense such as running.

Running Burns More Calories in Recovery than Walking

Calories Burned Walking v Running

Recovery is where Running triumphs over Walking in the weight loss/calorie burning arena. Running creates more post-exercise oxygen demand and consumption than walking. This in turn increases the rate and duration of calorie burning. So in Layman’s terms you burn more calories after a run than you will burn after a walk.

Our bodies require additional energy for the post exercise recovery. The greater the volume and higher the intensity of the training, the greater the amount of calories that will need to be burned after completion of the exercise.

Is Running better than Walking for Weight Loss?

Firstly, it depends. If you are capable of both Running and Walking, then Running is the winner hands down. Adding the small higher percentage of calories burned during the exercise, with the far larger of Recovery Calories burned make Running the clear winner.

However, if you are unable to run, then Walking the same distance that you would have run, in a longer time, will still burn a comparable amount of “during walking” calories. You won’t burn anywhere near the amount of post workout calories, but you also wouldn’t have had to put yourself through the Intensive Workout before hand either.

To be honest, even though I am dying to run again, I am thoroughly enjoying my walks and hikes at the minute, and they are keeping me fit and keeping the weight down in preparation for when I am ready to be “let off the leash” again.

Calories Burned Walking – Why Weight Matters during exercise.

Remember, the more you weigh, the more calories you will burn. It takes more energy to move a heavy object than a light one, simple science.

If you have a hiking rucksack, as most people who visit this site do. And, obviously if you are able to. Try filling it with heavy objects (Bricks, Water Bottles) and experiment by wearing that during your walk. Obviously it will up the intensity of your workout, but you’ll burn approximately 1 extra calorie per minute for every 20 pounds of weight you carry.

Calories Burned Walking carrying more weight

You could also experiment with Extra Weight and Extra Intensity at the same time. This will multiply the Calorie Burning significantly. Simply Walking up hills and/or Walking Faster should do the trick.

If you are able to walk fast carrying weight you would bring your calorie burning and post exercise calorie burning up to the levels of a runner mentioned in the examples earlier.

Running or Walking for Weight Management and Fitness?

Just because Walking isn’t as energy efficient, or time efficient as running, there is no need to write it off as a viable method of calorie burning for fitness and weight management.

Walking for long durations and distances can be a great way to stay fit and lose weight. It is also a pretty risk free way to train. I don’t think in a lifetime of walking and hiking I have ever injured myself in any way. However, the amount of strains, torn muscles and sprains I have had running is a different matter.

Calories Burned Walking – Is Running or Walking better?

Calories Burned Walking v Running Conclusion

Looking at the evidence, and taking my personal experience into account, IMHO, long periods of Low Intensity walks and hikes, combined with short fast runs, and occasionally long slow runs are all excellent ways to burn fat, get fit and keep yourself toned and in shape. I am a great believer in mixing up training methods and I think that the amount of calories burned walking are certainly something worth considering for everyone looking to lose weight.