Hiking vs running-Hikingomatic

It is probably time to begin exercising if you are finally determined to avoid walking past a mirror or wearing a bathing suit. It is effective to lose a few pounds with exercise, but picking the right exercise will help you see results and stay motivated. Hiking vs running, which are excellent exercises for weight loss, have a look.

Running and Hiking

In addition to hiking, running is an aerobic exercise you can do to stay in shape. 185-pounders who hike for 30 minutes burn 266 calories, while those who run at 5 mph burn 355 calories. If you’re able to maintain a faster pace during your run, you’ll burn more calories; 185-pounders will burn 444 calories in a 30-minute run at 6 mph.

Calories And Fat

The relationship between calories and fat must be understood before you can choose an exercise to help you build an athletic physique. A pound of fat is roughly equivalent to 3,500 calories, so you must burn 3,500 calories more than you consume in order to lose a pound of fat. It is reasonable to set a weight-loss goal of 1 or 2 pounds per week for women because they need 1,940 calories per day.


Hiking vs running 1

In addition to burning calories, hiking can also help you lose weight and burn calories for a long period of time. The rate at which you burn calories depends on your weight and how long you hike. A person weighing 125 pounds burns 180 calories during a 30-minute hike, while someone weighs 185 pounds burns 266 calories during a hike of the same length. If you live in the city, hiking might require a lengthy car trip; if you live in the country, hiking might be convenient for those who enjoy the outdoors.


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You can burn calories by running outdoors or indoors on a track or treadmill. If you can maintain a faster speed for a longer period of time when you run, you will burn more calories. Running at 5 mph for 30 minutes will burn 240 and 355 calories, respectively, for people who weigh 125 and 185 pounds, respectively. Running at 7.5 mph for 30 minutes will burn 375 and 555 calories, respectively.

Is Hiking Harder Than Running?

A hike and a run are both great cardio exercises for toning and strengthening your lower body and core (via Livestrong). The two aerobic exercises are both good for heart health and can improve athletic performance, stamina, and endurance. However, there are some notable differences between them.

Hiking and running both activate different muscles in different ways, despite their similarities. For instance, hiking tends to engage the hamstrings more than running does. Because running is actually easier on your hamstrings, your hamstrings won’t be stretched as much as they would if you were standing on the ground while running.

In the same vein, hiking requires your glutes to work harder than running because you are carrying both your weight and the weight of your hiking backpack. Hiking and running uphill, on the other hand, are a lot more strenuous for your calves than hiking or running on flat terrain. Running, however, has a greater impact on your abdominal muscles than running on flat terrain.

Which burns more calories?

Running burns more calories than hiking (via Heathline), even though both are physical demanding exercises that are great for your overall health. In spite of the fact that running is generally done on flat terrain, it burns twice as many calories as moderately paced hiking does. Running is considered a more vigorous and high-intensity cardio exercise than hiking, even though the exact number of calories you burn depends on your weight and the speed and duration of your run. Running is therefore a more efficient and effective way to lose weight. 

However, hiking is usually more popular than running. 

Depending on how long a hike is, hikers can burn more calories in one trip than they do in a single run, on average. However, there is no right or wrong choice between the two activities. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. The two activities are both great for toning your muscles, burning calories, and potentially losing weight.

Hiking vs Running for Weight Loss

Hiking and running can both help you lose weight. But which burns more calories, hiking or running?

I assumed running would burn more calories than hiking for the same period, but I wanted to be sure. In recent years, the USDA has conducted some studies on how many calories are burned during various types of exercise, and the University of Rochester Medical Center has developed a nice calculator to use the data.

By using this calculator, I was able to estimate how many calories would be burned by hiking and running, based on a person’s weight. Here are my results:

WeightHiking Calories BurnedPaced at 6 minutes per mile.Paced at 8 minutes per mile.Pace yourself at 10 minutes per mile.
125 Pounds360990750600
150 Pounds4321188900720
175 Pounds50413861050840
200 Pounds57615841200960

As you can see from the chart, you burn more calories if you weigh more and if you run faster. While exercising, there are other variables that could alter how many calories a person actually burns, so it would be impossible to account for them all.

Taking these data into consideration, we can conclude that running simply burns more calories than hiking, assuming you run for the same amount of time as you would hike.

A hike for a few hours is much easier than running for a few hours for the average person, especially if they are overweight or have joint problems.

Since running is much harder on a person’s joints, someone trying to lose weight may not be able to run as long as a person can hike. A person who runs comes down 2.5 times their body weight when they come down, while someone who walks only comes down 1.2 times their body weight when they come down.

Additionally, runners are 25% more likely to suffer injuries than hikers. This means that runners’ weight-loss efforts are more likely to be interrupted than hikers’.

Hiking vs Running for Cardio

Running is considered a high-intensity exercise, whereas hiking is considered a moderate-intensity exercise by the American Heart Association.

Essentially, hiking and running are both good for your heart, but you’ll need to hike for twice as long to get the same heart health benefits as running.

According to the AHA, moderate-intensity exercise is better for you to start with because it is less stressful on your body, and you are more likely to stick with it.

Running has additional advantages

In fact, if you own a treadmill, you don’t even have to leave your house to go for a run. But hiking isn’t as convenient as running. 

It’s not easy or convenient to get to hiking trails in some parts of the country, so you have to find them first.

You can also reap the full benefits of running in a shorter amount of time. Spend just 11 minutes a day running, and you will have all the exercise you need for a week. To get the same benefits of hiking, spend 22 minutes a day hiking.

Running is a more convenient option for some people because they don’t feel safe hiking alone. Solo hiking isn’t for everyone, so I completely understand why someone might choose to run at the gym.

Hiking has additional advantages

It is common for hiking to be done in natural areas where air quality is much better. A treadmill or running through cities and suburbs is the most common type of running. Outdoor air pollution is high in cities and suburbs, and indoor air pollution is even worse.

Hikers are more likely to hike on uneven surfaces, which helps them maintain better balance than runners. This is especially true when hiking on graded terrain.

Hikers get the added benefit of spending time in nature and seeing wildlife that you’d miss out on while running. This is a benefit that not many other exercise options can offer.

Final Thoughts

We explained in detail hiking vs running for weight loss. The benefits of running and hiking are numerous: they’re good for your cardiovascular system, your muscles, your mental health, and even your well-being.

While running burns more calories, hiking burns more calories than running. After running, you’ll feel more euphoric, while after hiking you’ll be less stressed.

In my opinion, the best thing to do is to do both. Go for hikes and for walks and get the most out of both.

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