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Q: Exercise benefits of walking vs.running ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Exercise benefits of walking vs.running
Category: Health > Fitness and Nutrition
Asked by: amsterdam-ga
List Price: $4.00
Posted: 27 Apr 2002 16:15 PDT
Expires: 04 May 2002 16:15 PDT
Question ID: 6381
Please settle a discussion between an acquaintance and me.  I walk 9.2
miles frequently for exercise – I do this in about two and a half
hours.  I contend that this is roughly equivalent to running the same
distance as far as calories expended and exercise benefit - it just
takes longer than running the same distance.  He disagrees and says
that there would be more exercise benefit to running a mile than
walking a mile in such aspects as better endurance, toning,
cardio-vascular benefit, etc.  I say the two are equivalent and that
walking is better on the joints anyway.

What is your expert answer and how can I determine the calories I
expend on my 9.2 miles walks?
Subject: Re: Exercise benefits of walking vs.running
Answered By: katwoman-ga on 27 Apr 2002 18:13 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi amsterdam,

Here's the answer from Dr. Dean Ornish, a clinical professor of
medicine at UC San Francisco:

"All things being equal, you will burn more calories by running an
hour than walking an hour. It is true that walking a mile will burn
more calories than running a mile -- although it takes longer to do
so. When you run a mile, you're burning mostly sugar, or
carbohydrates, which is how your body gives you fast energy in bursts.
When you walk a mile, it gives your metabolism time to switch from
burning carbohydrates to burning fat."

WebMD - Dean Ornish, MD Q A:

How many calories you burn depends on a variety of factors such as
fitness level, metabolism, weight and the intensity of the workout.
"Larger people burn more calories than smaller people, 
particularly with activities like walking or stair climbing where they
have to carry their own weight," says Robert McMurray, professor of
exercise and sports science at the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill.
iVillage - "How Many Calories Are You Using -- and Other Burning
Questions" by Carol Krucoff:,11299,165839_125472-1,00.html
As far as how intensity affects a workout, according to an example
from the The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, if
you were walking briskly for one mile and your friend was jogging,
you'd burn about the same number of calories if you walked for 15
minutes and he jogged for eight and a half minutes.

The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports - "Walking for
Exercise and Pleasure":
As far as a being better on the joints, walking is, without a doubt,
the better exercise. It's one of the safest exercises you can do and
it provides great cardiovascular benefits without all of the stress
that running puts on the body.

Yahoo! Health - "Walking Workouts" by Carol Krucoff:

According to Dr. Ann Gerhardt, a Sacramento, CA doctor who was forced
to walk for exercise after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament
while skiing:

"The other plus about walking is that if you do the technique
correctly and put as much effort into walking as you would running,
you can get the same aerobic benefit. You are moving almost every part
of your body."

CityXpress - "On the Run: Walking vs. Running" by By James Raia:

Calorie burning charts:

More fitness tools (calorie counters, etc.):,12876,284562_296108,00.html

Search terms:
"walking vs. running" on WebMD and Google

So I guess this means that you win the bet? :-)

amsterdam-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
This answers my qusetion and was very timely - if this service
maintains this level of quality it should be a real hit.

Subject: Re: Exercise benefits of walking vs.running
From: alexander-ga on 28 Apr 2002 01:06 PDT
What about the cardio benefits? I remember hearing that it's good to
get your heart rate into a "target zone", which would presumably be
more likely to happen when running.
Subject: Re: Exercise benefits of walking vs.running
From: firefly-ga on 28 Apr 2002 15:45 PDT
I found these statistics using the free Fitday service that I think
might also help settle the debate...

If you run at an average pace of 10 minutes a mile (6 miles per hour),
you would cover the 9.2 miles in 1 hour and 32 minutes, which would
burn a total of 920 calories. If you ran at an average pace of 12
minutes a mile (5 miles per hour) you would burn 860 calories in the 1
hour and 52 minutes it took you.

If you are walking the distance at a "brisk" pace of 3.5 mph, it would
take you about 2 hours and 39 minutes, and you would burn about 530

So I would disagree with katwoman -- i think that running the distance
would have greater health benefits (in terms of calories burned) and
in terms of increased cardio strength.
Subject: Re: Exercise benefits of walking vs.running
From: firefly-ga on 28 Apr 2002 15:46 PDT
oh, to calculate the calories, i used Fitday ( )
it requires free registration. I used my profile to calculate the
calories burned, there would be some variation based upon the person's
height, weight and gender.

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