Does Running Burn More Calories Than Walking

When it comes to exercise, one of the biggest questions people often ask is whether running burns more calories than walking. As an avid runner myself, I have always been curious about this topic. In this article, I will delve into the details and provide my personal insights on the matter.

The Science Behind Calorie Burn

To understand the calorie burning potential of running and walking, it’s important to grasp the basic science behind it. The number of calories burned during any physical activity depends on factors such as body weight, intensity, duration, and the individual’s metabolic rate.

Running is considered a high-intensity exercise that requires more effort and energy expenditure compared to walking. When you run, your heart rate increases, and you engage various muscle groups, such as your legs, core, and arms. This increased effort leads to a higher calorie burn.

On the other hand, walking is a low-intensity exercise that is more sustainable for longer durations. Although it may not burn as many calories per minute as running, it can still be an effective way to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The Numbers: Running vs. Walking

Now, let’s dive into the numbers and compare the calorie burn of running and walking. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), a 160-pound individual burns approximately 314 calories per hour of running at a pace of 6 miles per hour. In comparison, the same individual burns around 314 calories per hour of brisk walking at a pace of 3.5 miles per hour.

Based on these numbers, it may seem like running and walking burn similar amounts of calories. However, the key difference lies in the time it takes to burn those calories. Running at a faster pace allows you to burn a significant number of calories within a shorter period of time.

For example, running for 30 minutes at a moderate pace can burn around 270-400 calories, while walking for the same duration burns approximately 150-230 calories. This significant disparity highlights the calorie-burning potential of running.

Factors to Consider

Although running seems to have an edge when it comes to burning calories, there are some factors to consider.

  1. Impact on Joints: Running is a high-impact exercise that puts more stress on your joints, especially if you’re overweight or have pre-existing joint issues. Walking, on the other hand, is a low-impact activity that is more gentle on your joints. It’s essential to listen to your body and choose an exercise that suits your physical condition.
  2. Consistency: Walking, being a lower-intensity exercise, is easier to incorporate into your daily routine. It’s something you can do every day without feeling overly fatigued. On the contrary, running requires more recovery time, especially for beginners. Consistency plays a vital role in achieving long-term fitness goals, so choose an exercise that you can commit to.
  3. Personal Preference: Whether you’re a fan of running or prefer the leisurely pace of walking, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. If you enjoy the activity you’re doing, you’re more likely to stick with it and reap its benefits in the long run.


So, does running burn more calories than walking? The answer is yes, running does have a higher calorie burn compared to walking. However, it’s important to consider other factors such as joint health, consistency, and personal preference when deciding which exercise is right for you.

Ultimately, the best exercise is the one that you enjoy and can sustain over time. Whether you choose to run or walk, both activities have their own unique benefits and can contribute to a healthy and active lifestyle.