Take a stroll down any trail in any city and you're bound to meet at least a few people jogging or walking. While each person's reason for doing so is unique, countless people turn to either activity as a method of burning calories to help lose weight. In most cases, jogging is a better exercise if your main goal is to burn calories quickly.
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Jogging's Rapid Calorie Burn
The higher tempo you'll employ during a jog requires your body to push harder, which leads to more calories burned. According to the University of Maryland Medical System, a person who weighs 200 pounds burns about 986 calories during a 60-minute jog at an average pace of 5.5 mph. If the same person increases that pace to 7 mph for 60 minutes, about 1,226 calories will be burned during the jog.
Don't Dismiss Walking
Walking might not burn calories as quickly as jogging, but it's still a valuable way for many people to exercise. The University of Maryland Medical System reports that a 200-pound person burns about 426 calories during a 60-minute walk at 3 mph and 586 calories during a 60-minute walk at 4.5 mph. If you increase your pace to 5 mph, you're technically jogging, according to Harvard Health Publications.
Both Activities Have a Role
Even if you're tempted to use jogging to burn calories, this activity isn't practical for everyone. Jogging at a continuous pace is more challenging than walking, and if you aren't particularly active, taking a 60-minute jog might be impractical. In an article on BBC Sport, speed coach Mike Antoniades notes that walking at 4 mph or faster is more beneficial to your body than jogging at a slow pace. If you can't sustain a jogging pace, consider alternating between periods of jogging and brisk walking.
Strengthen Your Body and Mind
Whether you're conditioning yourself for a sport, working to build a fit body or just trying to clear your mind after a long day at work, jogging and walking provide a multitude of fitness benefits. Both activities can elevate your cardiovascular fitness, strengthen your musculoskeletal system and reduce your anxiety. Recruit a partner to join you on your jog or walk and you'll quickly reap the social benefits of the activities as well.