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As of September 2017, new Sweat Science columns are being published at www.outsideonline.com/sweatscience. Check out my bestselling new book on the science of endurance, ENDURE: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, published in February 2018 with a foreword by Malcolm Gladwell.
- Alex Hutchinson (@sweatscience)
New Jockology column now posted here:
Will I get a better workout by walking, running or biking my 5K commute to work?
Most commuters strive to be as efficient as possible. To get the best workout (specifically, to burn the most calories), you’re better off being inefficient. [continue reading]
A couple of interesting points have already been raised in the comments section, including one about what “net” calories refers to. In brief:
“Net” is referring to the total calories burned while moving a kilometer MINUS the number of calories you would have burned during that time just by being alive (your “basal metabolic rate”). Otherwise walking gets credited with burning a bunch of extra calories just because it takes longer.
As a rough approximation, running burns about 50% more GROSS calories per kilometre than walking, but twice as many NET calories.