If you've finally reached the point at which you'll do anything to avoid walking past a mirror or wearing a bathing suit, you probably know that it's time to begin exercising. Exercise is an effective way to shed a few pounds, but picking the right exercise will help you see results and stay encouraged. Hiking and running are both ideal aerobic exercises worth considering.
Calories and Fat
Before picking an exercise to help you obtain an athletic physique, you must understand the relationship between calories and fat. A pound of fat is roughly equivalent to 3,500 calories, which means that if you want to burn a pound of fat, you must burn 3,500 calories more than you consume in a given period. Because women should consume about 1,940 calories per day, setting a weight-loss goal of 1 or 2 pounds per week is reasonable.
Hiking is an effective way to burn calories, especially if your hikes last several hours. The rate at which you burn calories while hiking depends on your weight and the duration of your hike. A person who weighs 125 pounds will burn 180 calories during a 30-minute hike and someone who weighs 185 pounds will burn 266 calories during a hike of the same length. Hiking is especially conducive to those who enjoy the outdoors and live in rural areas; if you live in the heart of the city, hiking might require a lengthy car trip.
Running is a common way for people to burn calories and is possible outdoors or indoors on a track or treadmill. When you run, you'll burn more calories if you can maintain a faster speed for a longer duration. People who weigh 125 and 185 pounds will burn 240 and 355 calories, respectively, while running for 30 minutes at 5 mph, and the same two people will burn 375 and 555 calories, respectively, while running at 7.5 mph for 30 minutes.
Hiking and running are both effective ways to burn calories, but running will help you burn calories faster. Consider, however, the length of the exercise. If you can only run for an hour but can take a 180-minute hike, you'll burn more calories during the hike. Before and after either activity, devote time to adequately stretching your muscles and always consult a physician before attempting a new type of workout.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.