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The primary reason to take up exercise always has something to do with burning calories and losing weight. Even simple everyday exercises like walking, jogging and running are often done with the intention of burning calories. Walking, jogging and running are forms of aerobic exercises, which pump more oxygen into the bloodstream by increasing the heart and breathing rates. Besides weight loss, aerobics also help in improving stamina, making heart and lungs stronger, and lowering blood pressure. When you take up aerobics on a daily basis, you enjoy various health benefits along with weight loss.
However, the amount of calories burned by walking, jogging and running varies greatly. You might think that walking and running the same distance will burn the same amount of calories, but that isn’t the case. Distance rarely has anything to do with calorie burn. It is the energy expenditure that is responsible for burning calories and aiding in weight loss. The greater the energy spent, the higher the calorie burn.
In that case, it becomes easy to understand that walking burns fewer calories than jogging, which burns fewer calories than running. Walking a mile, jogging a mile, and running a mile will burn different amounts of calories. It is also dependent on the weight of the person.
Let’s take the example of a 160 pound man. A ten minute walk will burn only 30 calories, while jogging for ten minutes will burn almost 100 calories. Running for the same time will burn 150 calories. Similarly, a 140-pound person will burn 13 calories per minute running, but only 7.5 calories per minute walking. Therefore, it works out to 395 calories burned in 30 minutes, compared to the 225 calories burned walking for the same time.
When you are on the heavier side, you burn more calories because there’s excess weight to lose. When you’re leaner and closer to your right weight, you burn fewer calories because there is not much excess weight to lose. Distance, therefore, has no relationship with the amount of calories burned. The energy expenditure is the main factor. Any high intensity exercise, including running, burns more calories per minute. When you are fitter, you may burn fewer calories but the calories that you burn are from fat. When you’re on the fitter side, the little non-essential fat that you have is burned from exercise.
That is why, the more intense your exercise, the higher the amount of calories you burn. The more energy your body expends moving from point A to point B, the more calories it uses up. Even when you walk at a fast pace, for instance power walking, it burns the same amount of calories as jogging.
In many cases, people may not be able to run or jog because of medical conditions like arthritis or any injury. If that is the case, then the person has to exercise for a longer time to achieve the same amount of calorie burn. When a person cannot run, they can instead do power walking over a longer period to achieve the same calorie burn.
When the exercise level is moderate, the time taken to burn calories is longer. That is the reason why the recommended physical activity per week for adults is either 150 minutes of moderate activity like brisk walking or jogging, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercising like running, alongside strength training.
If you want to burn more calories walking, you may try walking on an inclined surface like a hilly area, or interval training like alternating between walking, jogging, and running. This is also ideal for those getting introduced to more intense exercising or those seeking to enhance their overall fitness levels.