I walk my dog on average about 10 miles a week. The canal I walk her on (I don’t run unless I am being chased, or am chasing my dog) is one mile to one end, and then another mile to the other, so we get an average of 2 to 3 miles in a single walk. We walk at a fairly brisk pace, but not speed walking by any means, and genuinely just walk for the joy of it, to get out of the house, rather than the exercise. I wondered how many calories I was burning on our walks, and how much more I would burn if I actually jogged with my dog rather than just walked fairly briskly with her. Is there really that much of a difference?
According to prohealth.com, using their exercise calorie counter, at a brisk walk for my weight (85 pounds) for 1 hour I burn an average of about 153 calories. Just casually walking with my dog I burn about 135 calories, so I would say I average about 140 calories. Not too shabby, in my opinion, and I often walk my dog for about 2 hours at a time.
Now, if I were jogging, I would be burning an average of 270 calories an hour, which is just about 120 calories more than I burn walking at a fairly swift pace. Considering I can only jog for about 6 minutes at a time, I think even if I incorporated more running or jogging into my routine, I would only burn about 30 or so more calories than I already do (running I would burn about 307 calories in an hour, if I could run 5 mph, which I doubt).
While the difference in calorie burnage is fairly significant, I’m not too into huffing and puffing my way into burning more calories, since I average about 800 calories a day in consumption anyhow (I’m a small eater). I was simply curious to see if running made that much of a difference versus walking, and it does, about twice as much calorie burning as walking at a fast pace. So if you want to burn more calories than just via walking, at least a jog can make a huge difference, particularly if you weigh more than I do. (for instance, a person weighing 150 lbs would burn about 270 calories walking briskly, 478 calories jogging, or 543 calories running at 5 mph if they were doing so for an hour- quite a caloric workout!)
No matter what, just getting out there and getting exercise, however you choose to get it, is healthy for you. I choose to walk briskly as it’s a pace my dog and I enjoy comfortably and allows us to take in the scenery and enjoy our walk rather than wearing us out. But it’s neat to know that even walking burns a noticeable amount of calories, even though running seems to have much more calorie burning benefits.