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Running Vs. Walking: Which Is Better For You?

Is it true that running a mile and walking a mile burn about the same number of calories?

Race for the cure participants walk and run down a city street.

Photo: thomas23 (Flickr)

Surprisingly, when counting the calories burned mile after mile, walking isn't far behind running.

It’s often said that running a mile and walking a mile burn about the same number of calories. This might sound appealing if you’re a walker, but then how much harder is running than walking?

Calories Burned

The truth is that speed does matter. Running burns calories at about twice the rate of walking. Why? Well, when you exercise, you burn five calories for every liter of oxygen you consume. Running involves the consumption of a lot more oxygen than does walking.

How many calories you burn running or walking also depends on your weight and other factors. However, in general, running burns about ten calories a minute, whereas walking burns about five calories a minute.

The Stats

At this rate, walking at the pace of a mile every fifteen minutes calculates to 75 calories burned. Running at a pace of a mile every 10 minutes adds up to about 100 calories burned. This is good news for walkers AND for runners, depending on how you look at it.

For walkers, these stats verify that walking is a great way to burn calories. When counting the calories burned mile for mile, walking isn’t far behind running.

What’s Best For You?

For runners, these stats verify that runners can burn calories a good deal faster than walkers. Because running takes less time to cover the same distance, a person who runs  10minute miles for an hour will burn about 600 calories.

A person walking 15 minute miles during that same hour’s time will burn about 300 calories. Thus, if you have a busy schedule and want an exercise routine that burns a lot of calories fast, then running is a better bet than walking.

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