Walking Vs Cycling Vs Running: Which Is Best?

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One of the best ways to shed weight is through rigorous cardio.

However, there are many different kinds of cardio that you can try, and it is difficult to know which kind of cardio is the best for losing weight, getting in shape, strengthening muscles, etc.

In this article, you are going to see a comparison of the three major kinds of cardio, walking, running, and cycling.


Walking is by far the easiest of the three cardio exercises that are being looked at in this article.

Walking has a number of strengths.

Firstly, it is very easy to do.

Everyone can walk, it doesn’t require any special form to do correctly like running or cycling does.

Secondly, it puts minimal wear on the body.

This makes it a great exercise option for people who are overweight and looking to start getting into shape, people with injuries who are trying to recover mobility, and elderly people.

The downside to walking and what will make it less appealing to many is that it burns very few calories.

Human bodies are designed for long-distance travel; therefore, you can walk long distances and burn very few calories.

Roughly speaking, you can walk a mile and only burn 100 calories at best.

This can change depending on certain factors such as your starting weight, fitness level, etc.

However, in the end, walking is still a very inefficient way of burning calories.


Running is a very classic exercise that most of you reading this have probably done before.

However, not everyone is aware of the actual nitty-gritty details of how useful running actually is.

In terms of pure calorie burning potential, running is by far the best cardio exercise of the three.

It burns far more calories than walking, and slightly more calories than cycling.

For example, an hour of running, if done at a good pace, will burn roughly 1,000 calories.

Biking for the same amount of time will burn just over 800.

However, running takes a massive toll on one’s body.

Runners, even casual ones, often suffer injuries and can develop muscle pain.

It is also very difficult to do if you are not in shape already, if you are recovering from an injury, or if you are elderly.


Cycling is probably the best activity of the three for a few reasons.

Firstly, it burns far more calories than walking, and it is only slightly behind running in terms of number of calories burned per hour.

However, it makes up for this slight gap in a few other ways.

Firstly, cycling is a lot easier on the body, the chances of injury is significantly less.

Secondly, cycling is a lot easier for people who are elderly, who may have mobility issues, and other issues that make running difficult.

Finally, cycling arguably uses less energy, enabling you to cycle for longer and thus burn more calories.

Is Walking As Healthy As Running?

If you’re looking for a way to get more active, you’re very likely going to consider walking as a way to burn calories.

And, in fact, walking is a super effective way to burn calories, but how does it stack up against running?

First and foremost, while running will definitely get your heart rate up more quickly and keep it escalated for a longer period (which results in increased calorie burn), walking has its own benefits that lure many people in.

For instance, while running may burn more calories, walking is low-impact and much more accessible for the average person regardless of your fitness level.

Running, of course, is a higher impact activity and that can have a negative impact on your joints.

If you’re already experience joint pain or mobility issues, running probably isn’t the way to go.

Instead, walking will prove to be the smarter and healthier choice for your body.

Plus, you also need to consider your endurance.

If you get winded within a few minutes of running, you’re going to want to work your way up to running or else it won’t be a very effective form of exercise.

In fact, improper running techniques and trying to push yourself to hard can lead to serious health side effects, ranging from pulling a muscle to a potential heart attack depending on your health status.

That’s why most people choose walking over running.

Walking is low-impact and you can generally sustain a good pace for even hours at a time without getting too worn out.

Walking long distances is the perfect form of LISS, or Low-Impact Steady State cardio, which has been proven to burn calories very effectively.

The number of calories you burn when walking, however, will depend on your height, weight, age, and a few other factors.

The speed at which you walk and the incline will also determine how many calories you burn while walking.

If you want to estimate how many calories you can burn by walking a certain distance or for a certain length of time, you should consult an online calculator and put in some information about your body composition to get an accurate estimation.

Once you know how many calories you can burn by walking, you can begin to lay out a weight loss plan for yourself.

For instance, if you burn 250 calories per hour of walking, walking for just one hour a day means you’ll lose 1/2 pound a week!

Walking for two hours per day will equate in a pound of weight loss per week, and so on.

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