Will Power Walking or Jogging Burn More Calories?

With the abundance of information at our fingertips these days it’s easy to be confused about walking vs. jogging when it comes to your overall health. Let’s weigh the pros and cons for each method and you can decide for yourself what is best for YOU. The bottom line is that you know yourself and your body best!

What Is Your Goal?

If your primary exercise goal is weight loss, running wins, hands down. Calorie burn is at the core of weight loss – you must have a caloric deficit to lose weight. Jogging or power walking is an efficient way to generate that deficit. Think of your body like a car motor and calories like gasoline. The larger or heavier the car the more gasoline will be used per mile. It is the same with our bodies. The larger you are, the more energy that’s required to run your engine which will cause you to burn more calories.

How Quickly Are You Moving?

The speed at which you walk or jog will also influence your calorie burn. With jogging you will cover longer distance in a shorter amount of time. It’s more efficient for calorie-burning than power walking. But what about other factors when it comes to jogging? Is this a new regimen? How do your joints feel? Cardio health comes along much quicker than our joint health. We could injur our joints if we push them past their capabilities. If you can’t jog long distances because your knees are pounding for days after, take a step back and try a 10 minute brisk walk warm-up followed by a minute of sprinting, then 5 minutes of brisk walking again. Alternate the two for 30-60 minutes and gradually increase your running time while decreasing your walking time over the following weeks of training. This will build the muscles in your legs and relieve pressure put on your knees while running.

To maximize your calorie-burning during power walking you can increase the efficiency by going up hill, carrying weights along with you, and pumping your arms while walking briskly. A smart watch is very helpful in tracking your workouts but if you don’t have one a great rule of thumb to follow is that you should be working hard enough that it would be difficult to carry a conversation with someone.

Whichever method you choose remember this: You’re moving your body and burning calories while increasing your cardiovascular and joint health. Consistency is key in our physical health! Be patient with yourself and always go a little more than you think you can. In the long run (no pun intended) your bones will thank you for it and your heart will continue to work as the amazing muscle machine it is.