Burning fat and staying tone is incessantly on the minds of many athletes, fitness buffs, and the average human being concerned about their appearance.  The best way to keep the fat burning is to mix strength and resistance training with cardio activities.  The much debated question however is what will burn more fat walking at a brisk pace, walking slowly or running.   The answer will be very clear after we explain how it all works.

When we are walking our heart rate may be around 40-50% of our Max Heart Rate (MHR).  At that pace our body is using the nutrients in our system to fuel our activity.  In this instance we are getting approximately 90% of our energy from fat.  One would venture to guess that this is the clear winner as far as activities are concerned to burn fat.  Is it possible that all the members in your gym or those running at a more brisk pace on roads, sidewalks and shorelines are all trying to increase their endurance and have little interest in burning excess fat?  There is a considerable amount of misinformation that circulates the fitness world regularly.  Almost as much as rumors about Kim Kardashian’s wedding.  When you are running you may be elevating your heart rate to 70-80%+ of your MHR.  At this level only 60% of your energy is derived from fat sources. This is a clear sign that walking is the best policy……..WRONG.

Although the percentage of fat used to fuel the body when running is lower, it takes a great deal more caloric intake to supply an activity such as running.  For example,  if you are at 50% MHR you may only burn 7 calories per minute (90% of which is supplied from fat).  At 70% MHR you may be burning 14 calories per minute (60% of which is supplied from fat).  The clear winner is running if you are trying to be more efficient at burning fat on a per minute basis.  Essentially to burn the same amount walking  compared to running you will just have to walk a little further.   (Kleiner PhD, R.D., Susan M., Maggie Greewood Robinson, Power Eating, Maryland, 2007)