Research Shows That Walking Can Burn More Fat Than Running


If you’re in the market for a leaner body, you’ve probably looked over some cardio workout and strength-training plans. You could run on a treadmill and hope to burn some serious fat, but did you know that running may not be the most effective form of cardio to accomplish the goal? Something a lot more universally achievable may be a better option. Yep, it’s walking.

Business Insider interviewed nutritionist and celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, who pointed out that while intense cardio burns more calories than walking, a good portion of them aren’t from fat sources. And it’s the loss of fat content that makes you more toned.

Furthermore, research conducted at the London School of Economics and Political Science found that people who walk briskly for at least 30 minutes a day are more likely to have slimmer waistlines and BMIs than their counterparts who opt for moderate-intensity at the gym. The study examined 50,000 participants over the age of 13.

And there’s another factor at play. Pasternak, who trains celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Ariana Grande, also says that high-intensity cardio can make you hungrier than low-intensity activities like fitness walking. If you’re hungrier, he says, you may end up eating more than you’d like, which of course affects your figure.

How much do you have to walk in order to actually lose fat?

The U.K. National Health Service says that consistently walking around 10,000 steps a day equates to 150 minutes of moderate cardio exercise. The recommended amount of cardio for the average person is 300 minutes each week. So if you’re doing 150 minutes a day, you’re way ahead of the curve. For context, Pasternak told Business Insider that on average, Americans only log 4,100 steps a day while people from the healthiest countries in the world walk between 10,000 and 14,000 steps a day. So step up your walking game. The best part? No running or HIIT classes are involved. Just walking.

So, what makes walking so effective?

Routine walking comes with many health benefits. It can help prevent conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. A study conducted at the University of Boulder Colorado and the University of Tennessee found that regular walking can lower blood pressure by as much as 11 points and may reduce the risk of stroke by 20 percent to 40 percent. And on a mental level, walking can boost your mood and improve your creativity.

Waking never sounded so appealing. We’re all about ditching high-intensity workouts to get in the best possible shape. Looking better and feeling better is a huge win.