What's Better to Lose Weight, Walking or Jogging?

What's Better to Lose Weight, Walking or Jogging?

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Walking and jogging both improve weight loss.

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With so much conflicting information about exercise and weight loss, it's hard to know what you should do and how often, especially when it comes to walking or jogging. You don't have to go on some crazy fad diet, do a triathlon, become a vegan or even skip dessert in order to lose weight. Walking and jogging are both aerobic activities that increase your heart rate, burn calories, improve bone, muscular and cardiovascular strength, and prevent heart disease.


  • Walking and jogging both contribute to weight loss. Jogging is more efficient at burning calories.

Get the Skinny

You burn calories all the time, even at rest; just how many calories you burn on any given day varies based on your weight, sex and other genetic and hormonal factors. Calories are simply units of energy that are stored in the cells of your body. Each pound of fat that you carry stores about 3,500 calories. In order to lose weight you will have to burn more calories than you take in to create a calorie deficit. With a 500-calorie deficit per day, you can lose about a pound per week.

Turn up the Burn

Running generally burns up to twice as many calories per mile as walking. To calculate how many calories you burn for each mile of walking, multiply your weight in pounds by 0.53. To calculate the number of calories per mile that you burn during a run, multiply your weight by 0.75. A person weighing 155 pounds will burn approximately 186 calories walking for 30 minutes at a pace of 4.5 mph, according to Harvard Medical School. The same person will burn 298 calories if they spend the same amount of time jogging at 5 mph. Five miles per hour of jogging is a 12-minute mile pace.

Watch Your Step

Running is hard on your joints because it entails a lot of repeated impact. Tendonitis, stress fractures, and knee or foot injuries are all potential impact-related injuries that can take you out of the running game while you recover. Walking does not come with these impact-related risks, and may be a smarter choice for those without any running experience or with limited cardiovascular capacity. Building up your cardiovascular fitness over time is a safe and healthy way to stay fit long-term.

Make it a Whole-Life Approach

While jogging burns more calories than walking, walking will still help move you forward on your path to weight loss. In addition to regular exercise, you should eat at least eight servings of fruits and vegetables per day, according to the American Heart Association. A healthy, well balanced diet should not be part-time or a fad, it should be incorporated into your lifestyle long-term, so that it can help you achieve and maintain your permanent weight loss goals. Proper nutrition will provide you with the nutrients your body needs to build and repair muscle tissues. If you are very out of shape or recovering from any serious illness, you should check with your health care provider before beginning an exercise program.