Hiking vs. Running for Weight Loss: Which One Will Sizzle Away More Calories?

Hiking vs. Running for Weight Loss: Which One Will Sizzle Away More Calories?

Let’s go for a ramble – put your hiking shoes on. But what is a hike?

A hike is a long-distance ramble across rough terrain – moors or mountains – for about five miles, It’s a lovely natural cardio workout. Running burns more calories more quickly. Plus, you get a better cardio workout than Hiking. Sadly, it’s easier to injure yourself if you push too hard.


It’s not a stroll across the commons so that you can have a drink at your local pub, and your dog can re-acquaint himself with all the female dogs on the common and mark his territory by relieving itself. Oh no! It’s a good cardio workout – this is what it entails.

Long Distance

A hike is a long-distance ramble across rough terrain for about five miles, to begin with.

You could start with a good hike across the moors and back. Make sure you walk for a long distance, and it must be across the country.

It doesn’t have to be up and down huge hills, off cliffs and, rock climbing; Let’s say we’ll begin with about a five-mile hike over rough terrain – grass and boulders and rocks and scrub, etc.

Regarding your first time out, by the time you get back, you’ll feel like your legs are about to fall off.

Equipment Needed

Put your hiking shoes on? Yes, best you believe there’s quite a bit of equipment and clothing you can buy (or not) if you wish to make this a main hobby and take it seriously. Look at this lot:

You’ll Probably Need

  •  A Map
  • A Compass
  • Sunglasses
  • Maybe a bandanna (scarf) to keep the sweat off your forehead or to control your hair.
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Extra Clothing
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • First Aid Supplies
  • Toilet Roll
  • Firestarter
  • Matches
  • Water Container – Full of water – not alcohol or a sugary fizzy drink; just water.
  • Binoculars
  • Hat – peaked brim against the sun
  • We’re going to add gloves here, in case you need to protect your hands on the boulders or wire fences, touch poisonous plants, and so on.
  • A sizeable lightweight canvass bag to carry the above
  • A trekking pole

Get Your Hiking Shoes Here!

You don’t have to buy them all at once. Over time, they will arrive in your cupboard as you become more involved and aware of what you need.

What To Wear

  • Hiking shoes or boots are more important than all the other items.
  • If you decide not to continue with Hiking, you’ll now have a nice stout pair of boots which will stand you in good stead for many, many years to come.
  • So, get the best hiking boots or shoes you can afford.
  • If your feet aren’t comfortable and protected, it makes the difference between going again or saying, ‘never again’!
  •  Thus, get socks of comfortable merino wool.
  • When backpacking, all clothes and other belongings should be as light as possible.
  • Denim is out. It’s a bad idea to have anything made of denim on a hike. A hiker needs warm, waterproof, and moisture-wicking clothing – No Denim!
  • Fleece pants, long underwear bottoms, a well-insulated, puffy jacket, or a fleece jacket, is sufficient.
  • Dressing for a day’s hike: Hiking clothes are about layering & wicking:
  • A moisture-wicking base layer or t-shirt is a material like polyester.
  • Moisture-wicking means to remove the sweat off your skin.
  • The garment sits directly on your skin, and you need it to wick – in other words, remove the sweat off your skin.
  • Your next layer of warmth will probably be a basic long-sleeved shirt (similar to your merino wool socks, merino wool is an excellent fabric choice).
  • Get an insulated jacket, one that’s lightweight and packs up small.
  • Some of you might even take a walking stick to lean on and help you over rough terrain.

Hiking Happy!

Hiking is a lovely natural cardio workout. People have been doing this for centuries.

People are still doing it, and they’re all happy and healthy, so maybe hiking is the answer (you may say to yourself).

If so inclined, when people of all ages get together and go for a bit of a hike – say half a mile or more, – they have fun, they get their muscles working, the fat burning, and the heart pumping.

That’s what it’s all about and, the joy and pleasure are infectious and self-generating.

Safety First

We mentioned the sunscreen and the insect repellent for apparent reasons; however, if you have allergies, say when you touch a particular plant, that’s why we mentioned the inclusion of light gloves in the packing.

Maybe also nose sprays for airborne allergies and so on. Don’t take the kitchen sink, but rather err on the side of simplicity, caution, and practicality.

Don’t be in a hurry to show off your figure or your new high-class equipment. Be in a hurry to get Hiking and enjoying yourself with the others.

Be safe and be comfortable and have fun – not fear.

Go Together with Other Hikers

When setting off on your first hiking outing, arrange to do it with people who usually hike together (safety in numbers) and preferably some of whom you know. This is very important advice you must take!

Buy the boots you will get quite a lot of wear out of, even if you never hike again.

Select these carefully because they mustn’t pinch a toe or nip a heel; they must be an exact fit and feel comfortable.

Start Simple

You can buy everything else later when you’ve decided that Hiking is for you. In the meantime, beg and borrow the essential items – people who’ve been at it a long time might have a spare item or two of clothing (jackets, etc.) they can lend out.

Put on the boots you bought, then the clothing you managed to borrow, and put on all your borrowed clothing, and go for your first hike to just get a bearing on if. You’ll either love it or hate it.

Your First Hike

On your first hike, listen to everything people say and ask as many questions as you need to because, as a novice, it can be quite expensive to buy the kit you’ll need. Also, it’s a different way of life, so you need to learn as much as possible in a very short space of time.

Remember, if you decide that Hiking will be your most preferred hobby, you’ll be going for a hike about three times a week, every week.

Just Hiking

Some people are thinking of starting Hiking as a tool for weight loss.

These people may have questions such as ‘is hiking good exercise or is hiking cardio?’ In answer, Hiking is excellent cardio and brilliant exercise – so it’s both.

It will also be a useful tool for weight loss. However, you should also enjoy it or forge it.

Because using something like hiking as a means to an end can be misery in the making! You must enjoy your hobbies or why do you spend time on them?

So, find one you like, one that gives you a workout but also makes you laugh and broaden your horizons – or don’t bother.

If you’re new to this hobby, it’s best to start small until you know whether you’ll become an avid hiker. For example, there is backpacking hiking, there is summit hiking, and there is also long-distance Hiking.

You can try them all, properly – go more than once – and see which you prefer.

Calculations that Might Help

Look at this: if you weigh 125 pounds and go for a 30-minute across country hike, you will burn 180 calories, which is a little more when compared to a person of the same weight choosing to speed walk or even dance instead of hiking as a means to lose weight.

Let’s agree that Hiking burns 266 calories and 223 calories for people who weigh 155 pounds and even 185 pounds, respectively.

Research also shows that a person who weighs 154 lb and hikes for an hour burns 370 calories (almost twice the number of calories compared to the same individual who went hiking for 30 minutes).

If we base it on this data, it’s crystal clear that a person who weighs more will burn more than a lighter person; you will lose more calories.

Consequently, hiking for several hours will yield better results for weight loss. Weight shed is more intense when doing backpacking on steep terrain instead of a flat surface.

Regarding Health Benefits, Why Is Hiking Seen as a Complete Lower Body Workout?

You manage your weight better, and it boasts of having a fantastic cardio workout. So, it builds strength in various muscles, enhances balance, mood, and strengthens the core. That’s huge in the benefits ratings.

Hiking is also a full-body workout engaging the different muscles below:

  • Quadriceps
  • Claves
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Inner and outer thighs
  • Lower back
  • Hip flexors

Most of us have favorite foods that we might have to give up, and we cannot bear the thought of that.

If you like to be comfortable and cannot bear the thought of working out till your legs give way; then breathe better and adopt different comportment and a more positive attitude.

A fresh perspective on how you perceive the whole weight loss process should work wonders.

Have you yet examined the apps and experienced any of the fun sides of fitness and fasting! (Not fasting, but you will diet and change the way you eat).

If you are not prepared to make little sacrifices for a potential hobby, then stop before you start; it’s not for you.

Hiking vs. Running for Weight Loss

We’ve read the argument for Hiking, and it’s very persuasive. A few of my friends are already discussing the possibility of discovering more about it.

They sound quite positive and motivated. Some of us have so many allergies (both airborne and contact). We love the idea of Hiking, but unfortunately, we stop everyone else from having fun. Practically speaking, it won’t work for some of us; we enjoy our countryside by photograph!

As we earlier discussed in this article, both of these aerobic exercises are excellent cardio workouts as they raise the heart rate. Hiking is a moderate-intensity workout, while running is a high-intensity workout.

Rough Territory

These two exercises will give you good cardio workouts when you do either of these activities over rough territory and undulating ground (an area which is quite hilly and craggy then smooth and flat again before becoming hilly) ensure you gain all the benefits.

Yet, if you compare hiking on a flat surface to running – obviously, running will give you a better chance of spiking your heart rate. But that last comparison is running too close to being acknowledged as onerous.

If you prefer Hiking, then select hilly and craggy paths. In such situations, your trekking poles will help you a lot by providing balance, increasing speed, and enhancing body movement.


Running more quickly burns more calories. It also gives you a better cardio workout than Hiking.

Sadly, it’s much easier to injure yourself, especially if you push yourself too hard.

Do you know that Shin splints are common occurrences in long-distance runners and also people who increase their running days over a too short a period?

Achilles tendinitis: If this is your problem, talking to an expert will help you plan your workout and prevent exercise-related injuries.

Hiking and Running

Hiking and running are the two most widespread outdoor workouts and seem not to be likely to dwindle in a hurry.

Cardio exercises have enormous fitness benefits. They are also fun, refreshing, and suitable for people of all ages.

Also, when both are parts of a fitness plan, they accomplish the three most important things that have become your focus: 

  • They get your muscles working,
  • They quickly burn away the fat,
  • They get your heart pumping – good cardio!

These are the three primary effects a workout can achieve. However, Hiking vs. Running, which of the two activities will unquestionably leave you with fewer calories?

The benefits of these two physical actions are so comprehensive. Determine which one burns more calories – and faster.

Midway – Let’s Recap and Refocus

We’re at midpoint or thereabouts, now, and you and your friends might say to yourselves, ‘oh, this is one of those Written debates where they want you to exercise till you drop in all kinds of weather – that will surely make us sick.’

Ego or Health?

We’re glad you mentioned that because this is precisely the opposite. This is one of those written articles that says to you,’ no matter how sexy or healthy and well-toned you think you look – are you looking after your ego or taking care of your health?’

Have Fun

This article is also about having lots of fun and, we’ve already explained that you start off slow and easy yourself into it. Could any hobbies be more accommodating or inviting than these? You know that old saying ‘healthy body – healthy mind,’ and it is so.

Inner Glow

Whichever form of exercising is appealing to you; you should start finding out more about it and give it a try. The sooner you start with some form of physical activity, the healthier you’ll be.

You might see people returning from a long hike or a fast run and looking spent – too tired to move.

Once they’ve showered and changed, you see that inner glow on them, which only comes from within when you’re getting fitter and stronger and healthier.

Those People Who Care

We’re not just talking about children; we’re referring to people over forty and fifty and above, who genuinely have that glow of getting on with their lives and actually doing something for themselves to keep themselves living healthier and happier for longer.

These are the senior citizens we refer to who already look between 10 – 20 years younger and haven’t let go of the reigns yet. They are strong and opinionated and still play a role in society.

All Brain and No Body

Some people take lots of time working to keep their brains sharp, which is a good thing, but only if they’re doing something similar for their bodies.

Don’t Let Go

We’ve discovered that if you let your body ‘go,’ it will do the same for you. It is really up to you to ensure that you look after your body’s health and maintenance.

You Need to Take the Hard Line to Be Well and Happy

Frankly, whatever age you are, you need to overhaul your diet, cut way back on salt and sugar, and understand that veggies and fruit won’t kill you.

Once you’re full, stop eating – people don’t do that; they continue to munch long after they feel full.

Lastly, physical exercise will do you a world of good and make you happy.

Torn Between Running and Hiking?


Running Shoes

A good pair of running shoes should be your first concern. You really need the shoes over everything else, so buy the best you can afford to do the job (and not to show off with). Usually, the people at the store are immensely helpful.

Get Great Running Shoes here!

For those who want to really analyze the differences between the two and think it’s essential for them to see all these complex adumbrations before making a decision, here’s the sort of facts you require.

Running or Hiking – Which to Choose

When a person is uncertain about which of two exercises they prefer, they then want to know which of the two will cause you to burn more calories more quickly.

Before we deliberate on that, running vs. Hiking, it’s vital to be aware that if you lose weight, you are clearly burning off more calories than you eat, i.e., the weight goes off. If not, then the unused calories will be converted to fat, i.e., your weight increases.

Losing Weight

Say it how you will, but, in plain and simple terms, it means that to lose weight, the calories eaten by following a diet must be less than those you burn up daily with the exercise of some type or another.

As the number of recommended calories per day depends on activity levels, gender, and age, you should talk with an expert before starting out on a weight loss journey.

More Running Technicalities

You can choose to run at either a light, a moderate, and a vigorous pace, and you’ll still reap the benefits to form reasonable weight loss.

Running at a slow speed of around five mph or doing a marathon burns 355 calories for a person weighing 185 pounds.

Consider that running at a 7.5 mph rate, or 8 minutes per mile, can burn 555 calories.

Therefore, if you have the same weight and engage in vigorous running for six minutes per mile or ten mph, you’ll burn up 733 calories.

Yet, you will burn up 590 calories if you run for one hour with a weight of 154 lb.

Burning Calories

Bear in mind that running is an excellent form of exercise. If you ask anyone how to exercise and lose weight, they’ll quickly tell you – running, of course.

It does burn calories, which means weight loss if you burn more calories than you eat.

Running is an Appetite Suppressant

You don’t want to eat for a long time after the long run – so running is an appetite suppressant—running targets belly fat (that harmful stuff that sits around your middle and refuses to budge). In fact, running is extremely beneficial to your health.

It’s good to know there are many different types of running as you progress. Here is a brief list of them all:

Different Types of Runs

Base Runs: A relatively normal run of about 6 miles at your usual average pace.

Long Runs: A longer run of about 10 -12 miles, helping to ramp up your endurance and fitness levels.

Interval Runs: Shorter and intense run repeated several times with breaks in between. Say, 5 x 0.5 mile runs with ¼ mile light jogging in between the intervals we spoke of—trains power and speed.

Hill Repeats: As interval runs except done uphill. Say, 10 x 1-minute hill repeats—training running power and speed plus improving stamina.

Recovery Runs: slow runs after hard hill runs adding extra distance. Say, a four-minute run at a comfortable pace after a hard run.

Progression Runs: Like competition-style runs. Starting slowly and finishing at a faster pace. It is meant to build endurance, speed, and reduce fatigue. Say, five miles at a usual comfortable pace, the one-mile at a fast pace.

Normal Runs: are considered Base Runs – look at the first one.

Health & Other Benefits of Running

In addition to weight loss and feeling good; running has other benefits:

Heart Disease: A 15-year study with over 50,000 participants showed that running at least five to 10 mins a day at average speeds reduced heart disease risk by up to 5%.

Blood Sugar: Running lowers blood sugar by making muscle cells more sensitive to insulin. This helps the sugar to move into muscle cells for storage.

Cataracts: A study showed that moderately paced walking and vigorously running showed a reduction in cataracts’ risk. The same study said that more exercise directly resulting in a lower risk.

Falls: Running may reduce the risk of falling among elderly citizens. Research shows us that elderly participants who run are less likely to fall because their leg muscles are more responsive.

Knee Damage: here is a myth doing the rounds that says running is bad for your knees. An analysis of 28 studies contested this fallacy, finding strong evidence that links physical activity with stronger knee tissue and healthier knees!

Knee Pain: Running may also help to reduce knee pain. A study of 64 years of age participants declared that running was not linked with knee pain or arthritis. Participants who ran more actually had less knee pain; it was said!

The takeaway here is for these last two points that people of 64 years actually are still running to the point where they do enough of it and know enough about it to be part of this debate.

How to Get Started with Running

Just like Hiking, you will need many items, but Beginners can begin with the essentials.

The excellent running shoes we mentioned earlier are vital because running or not; you will get a lot of use of them. Also, you’ll need a comfortable top, a water bottle, running shorts, tights or comfortable pants.

Women should seriously consider a sports bra while running as it will reduce the pain which you will get without one.

A reflective armband or something reflective is essential in the dark. It will help to prevent any accidents.

These are basic things you should know before beginning a running workout:

Frequency: Get started. Aim for three to four days of running per week. This gives you enough recovery time between workouts.

Warm-Up: It’s vital to warm up and stretch before every running workout. It prepared your body for the run. Begin by stretching, then 5 mins of a walk at a gentle pace. Then slowly progress to a power walk.

Cool Down: Be sure to cool down at the end of your run with about 5 mins of walking, and then gradually decrease the speed as you go.

Total Time: Your goal should be about 30 mins total (this includes the warm-up, 5 mins, and the run and walking in between).

It’s really easy to get started in running. I think you would begin with three to four days per week.

Is Running in Place (On the Spot) The Same As Running?

It’s not always possible to run outdoors. Running in place, then, seems to become a doable alternative to lose more weight.

However, it is believed that a treadmill would provide a far better method of calorie burning and ensures you can track your progress to reach a certain level of intensity.

Be Fit – Not Fancy

Fitness is vital to every human. We can all be fancy and wear designer labels, but it doesn’t mean anything, and it never will if you not fit and healthy.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve spent a year hiking and have now changed to running or speed walking.

Who cares if you were swimming for years and then changed to dancing?

May you be an ice skater and changed to hurdling or were a rock climber and changed to parachuting.

Leave your Chair and Learn to Walk

The problem comes from if you were a singer and tried to change to running; or if you were an artist and tried to change to roller skating.

It’s this extreme changing which take a little more time and patience.

Swapping from one sport or physical activity to another is infinitely simpler than switching from being sedentary to extremely active.

Final Thoughts

Hiking vs. Running, coupled with a well-rounded diet – just great to blitz excess calories.

Each type of workout offers its own unique health benefits; so, you’re bound to gain the rewards if you include both activities in your workout plan.

Before settling on either of the two activities, take time and maybe consult an expert. They will help you select what is best for your overall health, weight loss goals, time, and lifestyle.

For those cases, when you cannot do cardio outside, take your time to exercise your body indoors. Check out some Full Body Workouts at Home.

You now have enough information to get you started. Whichever you choose, you will burn calories, lose weight, get fitter, have a lot of fun (otherwise, what’s the point?), and get a full cardio whole doing it!

Ann Roberts


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