burns more calories

Q & A: What burns more calories? Walking in a weight vest or running?

If you are trying to lose weight and want to burn more calories you might have wondered:Q & A: What burns more calories? Walking in a weight vest or running?

A: It depends on if you are asking about calories per mile or per minute.  Per mile they will be about the same, however, per minute you will burn more with running. 

Miles vs Minutes
Running will burn 10-20% more calories per mile than walking.  However, if you wear a weight vest that is 10-20% of your body weight while walking, then you will burn 10-20% more calories per mile vs walking without a vest.

Running, even slow running, covers those miles in less time than walking, so the increased speed increases calories per minute which burns more calories per minute.  The downsides of running are that it’s not a great fit for everyone, and takes a very long time to build up to the point where you can do enough for it to make a big dent in your weekly calorie burn… most people can do a lot more total miles per week of walking than running, so walking is going to be a more practical tool to increase energy out for most.

What should you do?
If you haven’t been running consistently (10+ miles a week) the past year, then I would encourage you to focus on the vest walking.  Walking is something that most people already do every day, so you’ll have some specific conditioning for walking.  This means you should be able to walk without crippling soreness the next day. 

With that said, if your current step count is very low – less than 5,000 per day – then it would probably be better for you to start with a few weeks of 30-60min daily walks no vest.  Most adults tend to get about 1,000 steps per 10 min of walking, so you are just a handful of 10 min walks away from 5,000 more steps per day.  (Steps are important!)

Boost it more
Each degree of incline (walking or running) will increase your calorie expenditure by at least 5%. This can add up to a big boost for walking or running.  The downside of incline is that you can only get a net, sustained incline on a treadmill, which can be boring, but also has climate control.  If you walk up a hill outside, you have to walk down that hill to get home, so the net is zero.  Walking outside is still great, it just means every uphill has an equivalent downhill.

Bottom Line
It is true that most people don’t have enough time to exercise enough to allow them to eat an unlimited amount of food.  However, just because something doesn’t work at the most perfect ideal imaginable doesn’t mean it is pointless.  The more you move the easier it is to maintain and/or lose weight, and the healthier you will be.  The harder you are able to work during the time you have the greater the benefits.

·     If your step count is under 5,000 per day, try getting 30-60 min of walking in per day. You will feel better, sleep better, recover better, and more.  In about a month try wearing a vest.

·     If you already walk most days then try getting 30-60 min of walking per day with a vest to make the walking challenging enough to boost your fitness the way it did when you started walking.

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