Calculating calories burned for running and walking.

image credit: graphics8.nytimes.com

image credit: graphics8.nytimes.com

So you go out for a run or a walk.  You enjoy the exercise and physical movement.  You feel better about yourself and the work you are doing to get healthy.  But when you get home you wonder, “I wonder how many calories I just burned.”  Well, I am putting this post up so that you can calculate this for yourself anywhere and anytime.  It is pretty easy to do and the formula is based on research performed on walkers and runners.  The link I am putting at the bottom of the post is from a Runner’s World article that a fellow WW attendee pointed me to.  The article is based on the assumption that walking a mile and running a mile burns the same amount of calories.  This is not true although they both do burn a good amount of calories.  And if you don’t or can’t run, then walking is far superior than doing nothing at all.  I personally enjoy walking very much.

During the research the scientists found the running burned 2 times more calories than walking.  They noted also that if you can run two miles in the same time it takes to walk one mile than running would burn 4 times more calories over the same time period.  They also found that walking would burn more calories than running once you reached a particular pace.  Any walking done at a 12:00 minute per mile or faster pace burned more calories than running because it was inefficient.  So speed walking is a very good calorie burning exercise.  Here are the equations for calculating your calorie burn and the link to the article.

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Running-  .63 x body weight= calories burned per mile running.  So when I run 5 miles I burn 582 calories.

Walking-    .30 x body weight= calories burned per mile walking.  So when I walk 5 miles I burn 277 calories.

Here is the original article from Runner’s World as well as the research bibliography.

20 Responses to “Calculating calories burned for running and walking.”

  1. March 18, 2009 at 3:57 am

    One note: running tends to burn “roughly” the same number of calories per mile regardless of pace, assuming one is talking about a “reasonable” range of paces (e. g., 6 minute to 10 minute miles) whereas the calories burned per mile of walking varies; as you point out walking very fast is very inefficient.

    Of course, I’d love to see the data on an “ultra runner’s shuffle”; the kind of locomotion done by a middle of the pack ultrarunner during the second half of, say, a 100 miler.

    • 2 run4change
      March 18, 2009 at 4:43 am

      I bet the “burn” in the shuffle during the second half of a 100 is pretty high because that too takes a lot of effort to pull off. YOu are right, although a 6 minute mile will burn more calories than a 10 minute mile, it is not hugely significant.

  2. 3 p4p
    March 18, 2009 at 4:39 am

    Yo there. Super-helpful post. How many calories are in a WW point?

    • 4 run4change
      March 18, 2009 at 4:46 am

      I am not sure as fiber has an impact on the number of calories per point but I have always figured on 100 calories burned is 1 WW point but I think it is more like 80 or so. This way you are in a slight deficit even if you eat all of your AP’s. I think that is how WW figures it too because for the most part you are still in a position to lose weight while eating your AP’s according to their books. It is not the best way to lose if you eat all the AP’s but you do not removed the chance of losing by eating them all either if that makes any sense.

  3. 7 Leah
    March 18, 2009 at 7:01 am

    Thanks for posting. I use a Polar F11 HRM to figure a very accurate calorie burn. A close estimate for me is ~100 calories per mile, independent of the pace.

  4. March 18, 2009 at 7:28 am

    This is great info! I think I will borrow this and post on the WWMB, if you don’t mind.
    Of course, I will calculate the running and walking calories burned for myself.

  5. March 18, 2009 at 7:34 am

    Thanks, Jason!!!

    I just did!

  6. March 18, 2009 at 8:09 am

    It is in this thread:

    “Do we need to consume all our points?”

    It’s on the 2nd page of the Newbie Board now.

  7. March 19, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Jason…great post, as usual. So, here is my question…My trainer, doesnt want me running. I am not too “big” to run….but think he just is not a believer in running…says its bad on the knees and walking is just as “good” ~ but I have been interested in running…atleast a little. Guess I am a little nervous about running out in my neighborhood, with everyone watching…what do you think about on a treadmill ~ is that a good place to get started on the running pace? Much love from Texas. SAM

    • 16 run4change
      March 19, 2009 at 2:37 pm

      Yes Sam. Start running on a treadmill. It is still running. Running has also been shown to have a positive impact on joints such as knees.

  8. March 20, 2009 at 9:08 am

    I just posted this info again on the newbie Board in this thread:

    “About Activity Points verses Food Points”

    Although, I don’t believe the person we are trying to help will listen.

    Win some, lose some.

  9. March 20, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Gotta keep trying though!


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