Walking vs. Running on the Treadmill for Weight Loss

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Two camps are constantly debating on the best form of exercise: the one that walks and the one that runs on a treadmill. That includes their effectiveness in weight loss, which brings us to our discussion.

What’s the best approach, walking vs. running on the treadmill for weight loss? It turns out that there are other additional factors to consider if your goal is to shed some pounds.

So, without further ado, let’s settle this tag of war once and for all. Read on as we unveil the answer to our million-dollar question.

Effects of Walking and Running on the Treadmill on Weight Loss

For obvious reasons, running activities leads to burning more calories than walking. Remember that running is a high-intensity exercise, thus leading to burning extra calories.

Therefore, when everything is constant, you may want to run instead of walking on the treadmill if you want to lose weight.

Nevertheless, there is an exception to the rule: overweight people. According to some studies, these people should consider moderate-intensity and aerobic exercises instead of indulging in vigorous-intensity workout sessions.

After all, vigorous-intensity activities may not be as much fat as their moderate-intensity counterparts. How does that make sense?

According to experts, obese people’s muscles can’t burn as much body fat as lean muscles. Consequently, running on the treadmill may not solve their overweight problem.

For some people, the weight loss benefits are constant regardless of engaging in moderate or vigorous activities.

In other words, dismissing walking and running on the treadmill for weight loss isn’t good. You have to figure out what works best for you.

Walking vs. Running: Which One is More Effective for Weight Loss

A person who weighs 160 pounds will burn up to 584 calories after running at a speed of 5 miles per hour within an hour. The same person will lose 277 calories within the same period after walking at a speed of 3.5 miles per hour.

Nevertheless, what if running isn’t an option for you for various reasons? Let’s figure out the different approaches that can enhance the effectiveness of walking for weight loss.

Speed Walking vs. Running on the Treadmill for Weight Loss

If you walk at a brisk pace, that’s speed walking. It requires a speed of 3 miles per hour.

Thanks to this pace, speed walking will elevate your heart rate. So you will burn a considerable amount of calories.

It may not be as effective as running, but it is much better than regular walking for weight loss.

Power Walking vs. Running on the Treadmill for Weight Loss

As long as the walking pace is between 3 and 5 miles per hour, that’s a power walk. Some people can even walk faster, at 7 to 10 miles per hour.

Interestingly, power walking will burn the same calories as running. For instance, if you jog at 5 miles per hour for an hour, you will burn the same calories as another individual power walking at the same speed for the same period.

Incline Walking vs. Running on the Treadmill for Weight Loss

Remember that you will be walking uphill if you use an incline. It means the session is more challenging than regular walking.

Thus you will burn more calories under such conditions. Even more interesting is that it is as effective as running when burning calories.

However, one can’t insist enough on increasing the incline gradually. As a beginner, start with the smallest incline to avoid overexertion.

As you familiarize yourself with incline walking, you can increase it by 5, 10, or 15% over time. Over time, your body will be fit enough to walk at an incline of 15%.

Weighted Walking vs. Running on the Treadmill for Weight Loss

You can also enhance the effectiveness of walking to be at par with running when dealing with weight loss. One way of doing so is wearing a weighted vest when walking on the treadmill.

You shouldn’t pressure yourself much for your safety. For a weighted vest, ensure it doesn’t exceed 5 to 10% of your body weight.

Instead of a weighted vest, you can also opt for light dumbbells. Carry the dumbbells on both sides and start walking on the treadmill.

The extra effort of adding additional weight makes walking more effective for weight loss.

Interval Walking vs. Running on the Treadmill for Weight Loss

It is also an alternative to running when losing weight. Ensure the speed during high-intensity periods is effective and challenging enough to encourage burning body calories.

Why Is Running More Effective for Weight Loss

There are various reasons why running on the treadmill is more effective for weight loss than walking. They include the following;

  • You can easily handle the stubborn belly fat layers if you indulge in moderate or high-intensity running.
  • You will also eat less following high-intensity running since it suppresses your appetite, and that’s good for weight loss.
  • If you have a high-intensity running workout, calories continue to burn even after the session is over for up to 48 hours after it is over.
  • Compared to most exercises, running burns more body calories as well.

For these reasons, it would be best to choose running over walking on the treadmill for weight loss.


Following this discussion, walking vs. running on the treadmill for weight loss is no longer a bone of contention. Running outdoes walking for this fitness goal.

However, for obese people, the reverse may be true.

If you can’t run on the treadmill for whatever reason, that doesn’t mean you can’t lose weight by walking instead. It may not be as effective, but it makes a huge difference nonetheless.

Besides, there are various ways of enhancing the effectiveness of walking during weight loss. As long as you challenge yourself enough without going beyond what your fitness level can handle, a treadmill can help you lose weight.

That’s regardless of whether you choose walking or running. The latter gives results faster, but the former also shows results eventually.

Remember that what works for one person may be different for another. Equally important, besides exercising to lose weight, there are other important things to do.

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