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Does One Mile Equal 100 Calories Burned?

When it comes to burning calories, I've heard that it doesn't mater if you walk or run. As long as you go the same distance (amount of miles,) then you'll burn the same amount of calories. Is this true?

It's often believed that whether you're running or walking, you burn about 100 calories per mile, but that's not the case. You see, when you're walking, you keep your legs mostly straight, and your center of gravity sits on top of your legs. When you're running, you're actually hopping from one foot to the other. With each hop, your center of gravity rises up and then lowers down when you land, since you bend your knee to absorb the shock. When you're raising and lowering your weight, you're actually fighting gravity, which takes more effort than walking.

Here are some numbers to wrap your brain around. Syracuse University did a study that involved 12 men and 12 women. Their caloric burn was measured when both walking (19:00 minute miles) and running (9:30 minute miles), for a distance of 1,600 meters (about a mile). The men burned an average of 105 calories while running, and just 52 while walking; the women burned 91 calories while running and 43 walking. That's a huge difference.

So if burning calories is your goal, you may want to kick it up a notch and run instead and give this walking and running workout a try.


Join The Conversation
AMP AMP 9 years
Damn, this means when I'm having an off day and can't motivate myself to do more than walk, I should still try to push myself to jog a bit. Thanks for this, fit.
Angelica Angelica 9 years
Good points! Thanks fit!
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 9 years
Even if running burns more calories, I still prefer walking. I've never cared much for running as a way of getting exercise.
dayzfan4life01 dayzfan4life01 9 years
I thought so! I never believed that choosing to walk or run the same distance would amount to the same amount of calories burned.
eeeyore138 eeeyore138 9 years
When my bf and I go to the track, my walking mile is about 1/2 of his running mile, but on the days when he decides to walk with me he can't keep up! So hopefully on those days I'd be burning more carlories than him!
Kyko Kyko 9 years
Yeah! I walk at the highest incline my treadmill will throw at me, and at 2.8 mph (sometimes 3.1) and the burn meter says I burn about 150 calories for 21-ish minutes! Is that comparable?
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Good point one walking for fitness would ever walk that slow! I mean, I walk more quickly than that grocery shopping. Yet another pointless study though, what about cranking the incline on the treadmill? I burn more calories walking at 15:30 pace with a 15.0 incline than the person next to me trying to jog a 9:30 mile, plus it's a lot better on my poor legs!
latent latent 9 years
NINETEEN MINUTE MILES??? That's not walking, that's moseying.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
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