Walking, jogging and running are all excellent weight loss activities. If you're fighting the scale, regular workouts are important, though. If you're too tired to run more than once a week but you can walk every day, walking is probably the best choice -- even though it burns fewer calories.
Weight Loss Basics
To shed a pound, you need to burn 3,500 calories, experts at Mayo Clinic explain. The more intense your activity level is, the more calories you'll burn and the faster the pounds will come off. Your weight also has an impact on how many calories you burn. For example, a 130-pound person walking at 2.5 miles per hour will burn 177 calories in an hour. A 205-pound person will burn 279 calories in the same time.
Work in the Proper Heart Rate Zone
The best way to burn fat is to exercise in your fat burning zone. It doesn't matter if you reach the zone by walking, jogging or running -- as long as you can maintain it for most of your workout. To calculate your fat burning zone, first find your maximum heart rate. This is done by subtracting your age from 226. For example, if you're 35, your maximum heart rate will be 191. Your fat burning zone is between 60 percent and 70 percent of that number -- in this case, between 114 and 133 heartbeats per minute.
Choose What Burns the Most Calories
The speed of your walk or run will affect how many calories you burn. For example, if you're 155 pounds and walk at 2.5 miles per minute, you'll burn 211 calories per hour. Run 7.5 miles per hour, though, and you'll be burning 880 calories in an hour. Jogging is basically running at six miles per hour or less, according to the BBC Sports website. By jogging, you'll be burning around 700 calories per hour.
Make Your Workout Harder
To push up your calorie burn and speed your weight loss, find variations for your workouts. For example, running up stairs -- in a park, for example -- burns an impressive 1,056 calories per hour. Even walking uphill at a brisk pace of 3.5 miles per hour burns over 400 calories. Walking on a flat surface at the same speed, you'd be burning just 267 calories in 60 minutes.
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.