Does Lifting Weights Burn More Calories Than Running?

Young woman lifting weights
Woman lifting weights with trainer (Image: Minerva Studio/iStock/Getty Images)

Lifting weights and running can each play a helpful role in your mission to sculpt a healthier body. Despite the importance of each form of exercise, these two activities provide a drastically different calorie burn. Lifting weights doesn't burn calories nearly as quickly as running, even if you run at just a moderate pace. Check with your doctor before beginning a workout regimen that includes lifting weights or running.

Running Leaves Lifting Weights in the Dust

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, a 190-pound person who spends an hour lifting weights at a light or moderate effort burns about 259 calories. The same person burns about 518 calories during an hour of lifting weights at a vigorous effort, although this pace might be difficult to maintain for an hour. A 190-pound person who runs for an hour at 5.2 mph burns about 776 calories. An hour-long run at 6.7 mph results in about 949 calories burned.

Don't Shrug Off Either Exercise

Including strength-training exercises such as lifting weights and aerobic exercises such as running in your weekly fitness plan benefits your health in a number of ways. In addition to building your muscles, strength training strengthens your bones, prevents numerous health complications and boosts your stamina. Running also strengthens your muscles and bone density, and its high calorie burn plays a significant role in weight loss. Devote at least 150 minutes per week to aerobic exercise and perform two or more strength-training sessions per week to improve your health.

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