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Running v/s Walking: How many Calories do You Burn Running a Mile

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We live in a world where the general mass is striving hard to be fit and feel healthy, following the footsteps of their favourite celebrities, sportspersons who endorse a healthy living and a well-sculpted body. Here the most common route to fitness adopted by the general mass is either walking or running. Now the debate occurs - which of them is better at melting the calories? How many calories do you burn when you run a mile?

Does running burn more calories than walking?

Let’s find out!

Running V/s Walking: Which One Burns More Calories

running vs walking
Running Versus Walking: Which One Burns More Calories? (Source)

Running and walking are excellent types of aerobic exercises to build your cardiovascular fitness. While both promote weight loss, decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improve your sleep, boost your energy level, elevate your mood, and decrease the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease - the question is which one is better in terms of weight loss?

That fact that walking burns fat more than running is true since fat is used as a fuel while working out at a lower intensity. As you pump up the exercise intensity from walking to running, the fuel now used is carbohydrates. But let us tell you that it doesn’t matter if fat or carbs are used as fuel, because the ultimate goal you would want to achieve at the end of the day is, burn calories.

Let us understand this through numbers and time. 30 minutes of brisk walking will burn 187 calories at 4 mph. On the contrary, 30 minutes of running will burn 365 calories at 6 mph. Thus, running leads to burning of more calories than walking and burning of calories will contribute to greater weight loss.

How Many Calories Do You Burn Running a Mile

Now that we have established – running burns more calories than walking, the next question is how many calories do you burn running a mile? 

You may have heard that running a mile burns the same number of calories as walking but it’s not! Many health experts reject this common theory as a misnomer. According to them, the distance is not a real determinant of calorie burned. Factors like duration of your exercise, the speed, your weight, and your fitness level are the major determinants of calories burned.

For example, a man of 90 kg will burn 151 calories running a mile at 6mph in 10 minutes. On the other hand, the same man will burn 113 calories walking a mile at 4mph in 15 minutes.

Well, if you are thinking how many kilometers in a mile?

A kilometer is a unit of length equal to about 0.621 miles.

High-intensity exercises such as running will burn more calories per minute which is more relevant than the distance and is a more time efficient workout.

Weight as a Factor for Calories Burned

A common estimation for calories burned in one mile is approximately 150 calories per kilometer, which varies from individual to individual. Our body weight is a key aspect that decides the calorie number shed. This is because it takes comparatively more energy to move a heavier body for the same distance at a given pace.

A person weighing 68 kg burns around 11.4 calories per minute. So, if he/she runs a mile in 10 minutes, they’ll burn 114 calories. Again, if the person weighs 80 kg, the calorie burned per minute rises to 17 calories. Hence, the 80-kg individual would burn 170 calories running that same distance in 10 minutes.

Calories Burned Per 1-Mile Walk vs 1-Mile Run

Calories burned while running 1 mile
Run to Burn the Extra Calories (Source)

If you want to know how many calories do you burn running a mile then we have a “calories burned per mile” chart for you to grasp things better. Let’s check out!

Calorie Burned per chart
Calories Burned per Mile

*The above readings are true for an individual weighing 70 kg.

Clearly, running burns more calories than twice as many calories per minute (11.25) as walking (4.78). The difference increases when we consider the after-burn. While it is true that weight is a better determinant of calories burned than intensity, the latter plays a significant role in how many calories do you burn running a mile. The more intense the exercise, the more is the oxygen intake while recovering from the activity.

This is known as Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) and can greatly impact the total calories you burned in a day. However, applying the after-burn is somewhat tricky as you get only one after-burn per workout and not per mile.

So, if we assume you run 5 miles, your after-burn might still be only 46.1 calories or slightly higher. While doing the math, you do not multiply 5 * 158.6 calories/mile, which would give 793 calories burned. Instead, multiply 5 *112.5, and then add 46.1 to the result which gives 608.6, your actual count of after-burn calories.

Another easy way to do the calculation is to just multiply the Total Miles * 112.5 and regard the after-burn a bonus for all the rigorous work.

Livingit Tip:
Increase the speed of your workout to gain better after-burn. A moderately-hard exercise could yield 190 after-burn calories in the following 14 hours.

In case you do not weigh 70 kg then check out the below calorie-burn chart that adjusts to your body weight.

Calorie Burned Chart
Calorie-Burn Chart As per Individual Body Weight

Now, while doing your research on how many calories you burn while running a mile, you also may have come across the terms – net calories and gross calories. Let’s break down the two terms for you.

Your gross (total) calories burn includes basal metabolic rate; these are free calories which your body will burn even when at rest. And your net calorie burn is the actual calorie amount shed during a workout. The net calorie figure tells you how many extra calories are burned. Simply multiply your weight by 0.03 for walking and 0.07 for running and evaluate the difference.

Basic FAQs that Every Beginner Face

1. Should I Run or Walk Faster?
If you are a runner then try to run 10 minutes a mile, however, going above that will not give you any calorie burning benefit. But if your choice is walking than perhaps stepping up the speed to 12 minutes a mile will help burn the calories as equivalent to a runner.

2. Should I Run or Walk Longer?
Doing longer distances will definitely lead to more calorie burns. Whether you run or walk, adding extra kilometers to your workout session will surely benefit you. Gradually, build up your running and walking distance; add 10 to 15 minutes to your daily workout and steadily build up the workout time.

3. Should I Add Extra Weight?
While adding weight will help you burn more calories per mile, it’s a risky business. Adding extra pounds means more impact on the ankles, feet, knees, and hips. Hence, it is advisable you run or walk more than adding any weight.

4. Should I Walk or Run?
This is completely a personal choice. The only advantage of running over walking is that you can burn the calories in lesser time.

5. Can I do a combination workout of running and walking?
Of course, you can! This is known as interval training wherein you begin with a five-minute brisk walk and add run intervals of 45 seconds into the workout. Repeat at regular intervals.

Is Power Walking as Good as Running

Walking a mile in less than 15 minutes or walking faster than 4 mph is called power walking. A 150-pound person will burn approximately 300 calories by power walking at 4.5 mph for 1 hour, the same calories burned in an hour by running a mile at 4 mph.

However, running requires more effort and not everybody has the energy or stamina to put that effort, at least not in the beginning. Covering longer distances in a shorter span of time requires a lot more effort and often leads to fatigue and at times can even cause serious injury.

Power walking is relatively easier when compared to running, and at a speed of 5 mph burns almost the same amount of calories as jogging or running. 

Check out Walking to Running Program: The Perfect Training for New Runners

Why Running is Better for You

Running a better exercise
Running Exercise is one of the Best Exercises (Source)

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, intense aerobic workouts help to maintain good health and fitness. If not very intense gym workout, indulge in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic workout every week to keep up the fitness level.

Running is a high-intensity aerobic activity, factoring in your pace and vigour. Aside from assisting you in shedding the extra kilos, running also improves health in other ways; it helps keep your cardiovascular system well-functioning, relieve stress, improve sleep patterns, and increases appetite.

However, some of us may not be able to immerse ourselves in more intense exercises due to certain injuries or other health issues like arthritis. For such individuals, it is recommended to exercise as intensely as possible but stretching the workout duration. However, you should avoid the 12 mistakes that most runners tend to make!

Another important aspect that cannot be overlooked is the risk of injury. Since running falls into the category of high-intensity exercise, the impact is greater. The higher impact along with its repetitive nature, running can cause injuries to the ankle joints, knee, and hip, and severe injuries such as hamstring strains, etc.

But the injury risk can be mitigated by running on smooth surfaces in order like Grass, woodland trails, earth, cinders and man-made tracks. Choosing the correct running shoes and adopting the right form and technique will also guide you in losing the calories effectively.

The Impact of Running on Appetite

Studies show that running or jogging may increase the appetite for some runners, while for others it may not.

The theory goes like this:

After a longer, slower jog, you will feel hungry, whereas, after a hard run, you will not feel like eating. The increase in appetite is called compensation effect, which might force some individuals to eat more.

This could be the primary reason that running often fails to meet people’s expectations in terms of weight loss. Then there is the reward effect, where after a long run, eating a snack may be treated as a reward by the runner.

It is normal to be hungry after a long run and there is nothing unhealthy about having a quick bite or two, but you should take care that only quality food is eaten.

Here is a list of high-quality versus low-quality foods.

running to lose weight food chart
Impact of running on appetite (Source)

On the other hand, jogging or running hard releases peptide YY, the appetite-suppressing hormone. According to researchers, a high-intensity run heats up the body more, which in turn affects the temperature-sensitive appetite controls in the central nervous system. This is an added benefit of running for weight loss.

Read Does Running Burn Fat? Here's an Answer You'll Love

Running vs Walking: The Takeaway

Honestly, it all depends on you. Sure, as a runner or a walker you would want to know how many calories do you burn running a mile or how many calories does walking burn? But as we mentioned earlier, the intensity of a workout is not the sole deciding factor. Your body weight, the workout pace, the duration and the distance collectively contribute to burning the calories and making a noticeable shift in the weighing scale.

Adopt either of the aerobic exercise forms, gradually work up the walking or running time, and stick to it. A regular, modestly-intense exercise will help benefit you sooner or later, and if it is sooner what you want then we would suggest you pick running.

How many calories do you burn running a mile infographic

Hoping that we could justifiably answer the question – how many calories do you burning running a mile, the ball rolls in your court now!

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