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Question
Posted by: ANRE | 2011/09/26

30 Minutes of walking or 5 minutes of running - which is better?

Hi, I was wondering... if you set out to burn 100 calories at the gym... and you do either 5 minutes of intense running on the treadmill... or you walk slowely for 30 minutes...

In both cases you burn 100 calories... but is there a difference and is one of the methods better than the other?

So I''m thinking is it " better"  to get your heart racing quicker for a short period, or is it " better"  to let it work slightly harder than usual over a longer period of time?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Anre

You'd be running pretty fast to burn 100 kCal in 5 minutes. That's the kind of running that an Olympic athlete might do. I'd put the "normal" figure at about 70 to 80 kcal. Thought it depends on the mass of the person, and how fast they run, of course. 30 minutes of walking would also burn quite a bit more than 100kCal. That figure is likely to be around 200 kCal. So in terms of a pure calorie comparison, the 30min walk beats 5 min running.

The point is that you don't just compare the exercises by the calories burned. That's one of many reasons to exercise, and it may be a smallish one. The increase in heart rate, the metabolic effects of higher intensity exercise are amplified for the run compared to the walk, so there's good reason to do that.

My advice is to do a 30 minute session where you mix the 5 min running with 5 min walking, repeated 3 times. That's the combination of both, and most effective.

Ross

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Our users say:
Posted by: fitnessdoc | 2011/10/02

Hi Anre

You'd be running pretty fast to burn 100 kCal in 5 minutes. That's the kind of running that an Olympic athlete might do. I'd put the "normal" figure at about 70 to 80 kcal. Thought it depends on the mass of the person, and how fast they run, of course. 30 minutes of walking would also burn quite a bit more than 100kCal. That figure is likely to be around 200 kCal. So in terms of a pure calorie comparison, the 30min walk beats 5 min running.

The point is that you don't just compare the exercises by the calories burned. That's one of many reasons to exercise, and it may be a smallish one. The increase in heart rate, the metabolic effects of higher intensity exercise are amplified for the run compared to the walk, so there's good reason to do that.

My advice is to do a 30 minute session where you mix the 5 min running with 5 min walking, repeated 3 times. That's the combination of both, and most effective.

Ross

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