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activity vs. distance vs. time - calories burned?

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okay so hopefully i can word this without confusing the crap out of everyone :p

so i was thinking about this today. if you were to say run 2 miles at a moderate pace, would you burn the same amount of calories if you walked the 2 miles? or would you burn more more because it would take you longer and you are walking for a longer period of time which would burn more than say running it for a short amount of time? am i just being dumb?

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Physics 101 will say Energy burned (i.e. calories) is a function of mass (your weight) and distance.  This would suggest that walking a mile and running the mile result in the same caloric burn, which is what a lot of people assume the case is.  HOWEVER, when studies actually measure calorie burn running a distance definitely burns more calories than walking it.  One explanation is running elevates the body more every step than walking increasing the distance.  I suspect its an effeciency thing, where it takes energy to burn energy, sort of how MPG plummets when a car goes faster than 60.

The questino isn't dumb, and in fact there was an article pointed to on here just the other day about it.

Most people will say that you burn just about the same amount of calories if you move your body the same distance.  It doesn't matter how long it takes you, only how far you go. 

I think the article from the other day said that you burn more calories from moving faster, but I'm not sure if it's right. 

I would say do what you enjoy.

not dumb.

its all about the intensity, not the distance. read the HIIT threads for an explanation.


thanks guys that was so quick lol! yea i love to run and walk it just popped into my head today during a run and i was curious :]

Here's my understanding.

You burn the same no matter how fast you go (unless it is HIIT, because of the varying heart rate, I think).

However, say it takes you 30 min to walk 2mi, and 15 min to run 2mi, and you burn 200 calories doing either.

If you walk, you've burned 200 cal in that half hour.

If you run, you've burned 200 cal in 15 minutes, but then the next 15 minutes, you might burn an extra 20 calories, when you return to being sedentary.

So in the same half hour, you've burned 220 calories - 20 calories more than if you'd been walking the whole time.

Does that make sense?

edit - Found the article that I think karozel was talking about - it says that speed walking has more afterburn than regular walking (and I assume the same would be true of running vs walking)... so maybe my theory isn't right - or at least doesn't make enough of a difference?

Read this.

I use my heart rate monitor/calorie counter every workout.

When I run/walk a mile, it's the same cals burned, but my body is working harder in less time so I burn a lot more (my heart rate jumps up like crazy the moment I start running).

1 mile run  =10 minutes  =  100 cals burned = 600 cals burned an hour

1 mile walk=20 minutes  =  100 cals burned   = 300 cals burned an hour

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