How to burn more calories running

Did you know that running can burn more calories in one hour than many other form of exercise? According to Medical News Today, an average person can burn over 360 calories in just 30 minutes of running. 

So, if the aim of your workout is to burn calories and lose weight, you’ve chosen one of the most effective ways to do it. But how can you fine-tune your workout to burn even more calories when running? Let’s look at some of the subtle changes you can make to really feel the burn.

How many calories does running burn?

As a rule of thumb, the average person will burn 100 calories per mile of running (or if you think in kilometres, about 60 calories per km of running). Of course, there are a lot of factors that will influence this:

  • Your weight (heavier people tend to burn more)
  • Gender (men burn more than women)
  • Existing level of fitness (fitter people burn less calories while running)

To get a more accurate calculation of your running burning calories based on your height, weight and gender, try the ASICS RunKeeper app

What exercise burns the most calories?

It might be a slightly dissatisfying answer, but it depends. Ultimately the number of calories you burn doing different types of exercise depends on your resting heart rate, training heart rate and your weight. Also, the more intensely you work out, the more calories you’ll burn during each session. For instance, a light 30 minute jog where you run 3 km is only going to burn about 180 calories. Run for the same time period, but much faster, up and down hills and without a break, and you’ll burn a lot more. 

Do you burn more calories running in the cold?

Logic suggests that running in the cold would burn more calories than running when it’s hot, simply due to the extra calories the body burns to keep you warm. However, running when it’s cold is not an effective strategy to boost your calorie burn rate. As long as you dress appropriately for the weather, the rise in body temperature that occurs when you’re running will prevent the body’s natural warming mechanisms, such as shivering, from kicking in. 

In fact, a nutritionist quoted by Runner’s World said there’s evidence to suggest that runners eat more after cold-weather workouts, possibly due to the natural increase in appetite we experience during the winter months. The solution is to keep running whatever the weather but to be cautious of what you eat immediately afterwards.  

Do you burn more calories in the heat?

Yes, you do burn more calories when exercising in the heat. When your exercise in the heat, your body temperature rise. You therefore expend additional energy cooling yourself down naturally - by sweating. However, the additional calories burned is relatively low, so this won’t be a gamechanger. It’s also important to be aware of the risks. Running in high temperatures puts you at risk of heat stroke, so it’s not necessarily the best time to go running. 

You can avoid overheating while running by wearing breathable, lightweight and sweat wicking running clothing

How many calories does jogging burn?

Just like running, you typically burn around 100 calories for every mile you jog, or 62 calories for each kilometre. 

Does running burn more calories than walking?

Yes, generally speaking, running burns more calories than walking. But it’s quite relative. In fact, walking a mile will burn around 80 calories for the average person, while running will burn around 100 calories. But if you walk faster, you’ll burn more. 

Do you burn more calories running uphill? 

Yes. Running uphill rather on the flat can burn up to 250 calories more per hour. Studies show that a 180-pound person running uphill would burn around 1,250 calories per hour, compared to 1,000 calories on the flat. Equally, a 150-pound person would burn around 1,000 calories an hour running uphill and 800 on the flat. Interestingly, the gradient doesn’t have to be huge. Even just a gradual incline of a few percent can make all the difference to the calorie-burning efficiency of your run.

If you don’t have access to a treadmill or your local area is mostly flat, simply adding weights such as a weighted vest, wrist weights or a backpack will increase the number of calories you burn on your run. The heavier the weight, the more calories you’ll burn. 

Does running faster burn more calories?

Many people assume that running long distances is the best way to lose weight, simply because all those extra miles add up to lots of calories burned. However, all those additional miles can have a dramatic impact on appetite, which causes some runners to overeat and put most or all of those calories back on. 

For that reason, running faster rather than running longer is the best way to burn calories. Speeding up one or two of your weekly runs could make a big difference. Running faster burns more calories in three ways:

  • As intensity of exercise increases, so does calorie burning, with up to ten extra calories burnt per minute;
  • After an intense run, you continue to burn calories as your body recovers at up to twice the rate of a low-effort session;
  • A high-intensity run produces extra heat which affects temperature-sensitive appetite controls and puts a damper on your appetite. 

What burns more calories, running or spinning?

Spinning is often thought of as the ultimate calorie-burning workout in the gym, but how does it compete with running on a treadmill or the open road? Both running and spinning are among the best ways to burn calories and improve your cardiovascular health. However, when it comes to calories burnt per minute, there can only be one winner.  

A 30-minute treadmill running session for a 155-pound adult at 6mph will burn around 350 calories. That same adult will burn approximately 260 calories during a moderate 30-minute session on a spin bike. However, a spinning class takes calorie burning to a whole new level. In an intense spin class, all that shouting and sweating adds up to a calorie burn rate of 400-600 calories for a 30-minute session. That makes it extremely tough to beat.   

Top tips to burn more calories while running

  1. Reduce rest periods during your workout to keep your heart rate higher for longer periods. 
  2. An easy way to boost the calories you burn during your run is to include a few jumping exercises, such as jump squats, jump lunges and burpees, in your warm up. 
  3. Interval training is the key to supercharging your workout and torching a few extra calories. Unlike steady-state cardio, interval training will build intensity and increase your heart and metabolic rate. 
  4. Switching directions during your run can be a simple way to increase your calorie burn rate. Running backwards or sideways will strengthen your hips and force you to work more purposefully. Adding a resistance band will also ramp up the work you do.

Running and burning calories

There’s no doubt that running is a great way of burning calories - and it can help you lose weight. And, with the right footwear, you can keep running confidently further. Check out ASICS running shoes, the perfect footwear for burning calories on treadmill, road or trail.