Slow vs. Fast Running for Weight Loss

Slow vs. Fast Running for Weight Loss
Much has been said about strenuous vs. non-strenuous exercise, some true and much false. Naturally, people want to maximize their workouts, especially those who are trying to lose weight. As a consequence, people have a tendency to jump on fitness fads, forgetting that we are all genetically and physiologically different. What worked for someone else might not work you. It's important that we keep a clear understanding of the basic principles behind exercise and weight loss and use that as a base for determining our weight loss plans.

Calories burned

Slower aerobics do not burn more fat than faster aerobics. Slower aerobics burn a slightly higher percentage of fat per calorie, but faster aerobics burn a lot more calories. An average adult exercising at 50 percent of her maximum oxygen consumption will burn approximately 225 calories in 30 minutes, 113 of which are fat. However, the same adult exercising at 75 percent of her maximum oxygen consumption, will burn 315 calories, 126 being from fat.

Burning carbohydrates vs. fats

Fitness trainer Douglas Brooks says studies give no indication that burning fat is more effective for weight loss than burning carbohydrates. Weight loss is about burning calories, not fat.

Time commitment

As already mentioned, the more strenuous your workout the more calories you burn. To see significant weight loss through jogging, it's not uncommon for individuals to have to put in more 45 minutes three or more times a week.

Bodily stress

Slower wins when it comes to stress. The impact from walking is between one and one and a half times your body weight. Running produces an impact between three and four times your body weight and, that impact increases with speed. Obviously, the harder you run the higher the incidence of injury, especially if you're overweight.


Ultimately, exercising for weight loss comes down to three factors: how long you exercise, how hard you exercise and how much muscle you gain. Exercising as hard as you can and as long as you can will optimize caloric expenditure and weight loss. But you need to balance this against your present fitness level, risk of injury, and time on hand.

Article Written By Isaac Billings

Residing in northern Michigan, Isaac Billings began writing in 2009, with articles appearing on eHow, Trails and A wilderness EMT-paramedic and wilderness instructor, Billings enjoys writing about the outdoors, running, health and nutrition. He holds an Associates of Applied Science in emergency medicine from North Central Michigan College.

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