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Why is walking better than working out? (If you believe some sites)


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I am curious.  I know all the real benefits of working out vs low impact cardio.  IE: Building muscle makes your base metabolic rate increase, which is awesome, but here is what I don't understand.

Why, for example on myfitnesspal, when I put in 45 minutes of walking at 3mph, I burn more calories than if i put in 45 minutes of weight lifting?  I mean, that makes no sense.  Its not like I'm sitting down or my heart rate is returning to normal in between sets of working out.  So how do they figure you burn more from walking than working out?

The reason for this is I'm trying for a specific weight loss goal and I'm trying to get my net calories to a specific level for the next 3 weeks.  However, if I tabulate my total calories for the day, and plug in weight lifting, to subtract (and hopefully reach) in order to get to my net caloric intake for the day, it can't possibly be accurate.

Should I not worry about this and try and hit a caloric total based on a flat BMR and no exercise and just see what the exercise does?

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Yeah, most of the calorie counters are set up to favor cardio.  You are moving constantly during the 45 minutes of cardio where you might only have 15-20 minutes of work being done while lifting.  The major difference comes in how your resting metabolic rate changes after those workouts.  After lifting that rate stays higher than it does with low impact cardio, so you will continue to burn an elevated amount of calories over several hours.  Calorie counters tend to ignore that.  

 

I say track your calories and see how the exercise affects you.  Good luck! 

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You don't want to eat based on your BMR - that's essentially the calorie count you'd need if you were in a coma. Set the activity level on whatever calorie counter you use to "Sedentary" and work from that number, then any exercise you get is a bonus.

 

I would say that the real reason walking is so great as an exercise is that it's dead simple and easy enough that very nearly anyone can do it, while still being effective.

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Yeah I got tired of tracking all my exercise and trying to figure out if cleaning the house counted as "exercise" and stuff like that. I calculated my BMR and then decided I was moderately active, based on lifting 4x a week, kickboxing once a week, running 1-2x a week, and sometimes doing yoga. And I'm tracking cals to see how that works out for me. It's much easier than saying, "Oh I burned 1000 cals kickboxing, now I need to factor in an additional 1000 cals to my diet."

 

And also I don't trust the exercise on MFP. It lies, like what Max said.

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Why, for example on myfitnesspal, when I put in 45 minutes of walking at 3mph, I burn more calories than if i put in 45 minutes of weight lifting?  I mean, that makes no sense.  Its not like I'm sitting down or my heart rate is returning to normal in between sets of working out.  So how do they figure you burn more from walking than working out?

 

 

 

because MFP is stupid.  and MANY of the people on there- have no clue what they are doing when it comes to weight lifting and working out and encouraging people to do low rish activities that are more achievable is more logical. 

 

the fact it doesn't register weight lifting as an actual workout- is indeed stupid and illogical.   Use the calisthenics function for working out.  

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The strength training entry was clealy created by some old lady doing kickbacks with 3 lb dumbbells, reading off her HRM (which BTW do not work for strength training).

 

The high effort calisthenics and circuit training entries are good #'s if you do mostly compound work and try hard while strength training.  Should be burns in the area of 2/3 to 3/4 your running pace for the same amount of time.

 

Don't underestimate walking as an exercise though.  Pretty useless as far as positive adaptations go, but walking is quite a good exercise for burning up the calories.  What it loses in efficiency it gains in sustainability (you can go for a long time very frequently).  When you're really fat, walking should make up the vast majority of your exercise, simply because it is all you have the capacity to do in meaninful quanties, and you will progress to being able to do massive amounts quite rapidly.

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And also I don't trust the exercise on MFP. It lies, like what Max said.

The exercises that you can really trust are running and walking.

Simply because the calorie burns are easy to measure and fairly well estabished. Technique and exercise efficiency doesn't play much of a role in the burn.

Running and walking therefore make a great crosscheck. I can burn 350-400 cal/hour walking. Any exercise less than that better be pitifully easy like stretching yoga. I can burn about 900 calories an hour running. Any exercise greater than that better have me in pukey please make it stop territory. For stuff like HIIT or Crossfit style circuits, I know my burn should be a hair over my max running pace over a shorter time; I can burn 500 cals in 30 minutes running as an absolute max; I cannot sustain a pace higher than that, that style workout should be just over that.

Most workouts though effort-wise will reside somewhere between walking pace and running pace. You really have to figure out where. Remember though when "lifting heavy", rest times are part of it, if you try to go faster you will see a degredation in performance and be able to sustain it a shorter amount of time.

I actually like to blend the low effort and high effort calisthenics. Low effort is for warmup type stuff, not much harder than walking. High effort is for the meat of the workout, where I work hard, but not quite as hard as I do when running.

currently cutting

battle log challenges: 19,18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

don't panic!

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I am curious how the time translates.

I am really not concerned with calories burned mostly but I am curious- but I do 12-20 min HIIT sessions of calethetics/weighted drills.... how does that translate to time running?

 

I know I work harder doing 15 minutes of that type of HIIT than I do doing 15 minutes of moderate running. is there a time factor you mentally adjust for?? 

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The strength training entry was clealy created by some old lady doing kickbacks with 3 lb dumbbells, reading off her HRM (which BTW do not work for strength training).

 

The high effort calisthenics and circuit training entries are good #'s if you do mostly compound work and try hard while strength training.  Should be burns in the area of 2/3 to 3/4 your running pace for the same amount of time.

 

Don't underestimate walking as an exercise though.  Pretty useless as far as positive adaptations go, but walking is quite a good exercise for burning up the calories.  What it loses in efficiency it gains in sustainability (you can go for a long time very frequently).  When you're really fat, walking should make up the vast majority of your exercise, simply because it is all you have the capacity to do in meaninful quanties, and you will progress to being able to do massive amounts quite rapidly.

 

Haha. Yes, that is why MyFitnessPal doesnt list calories burned from lifting. I only use it for calorie count, not calorie expenditure. it doesnt really tak into account post workout burn and metabolism.

 

I agree that walking is good exercise in that it keeps you moving and not sitting stationary. Its also low impact so it is good on the joints if you have issues with joint pain or injury. I also believe that its good to get your heart rate up wich can only happen if you exert yourself more than just walking.

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I am curious how the time translates.

I am really not concerned with calories burned mostly but I am curious- but I do 12-20 min HIIT sessions of calethetics/weighted drills.... how does that translate to time running?

 

I know I work harder doing 15 minutes of that type of HIIT than I do doing 15 minutes of moderate running. is there a time factor you mentally adjust for??

Well the shorter amount of time doing it, the faster you can go. While I leisurely jog in the mid 5's when running for an hour, I could sustain well over 7 mph (probably close to 8) for 15 minutes if I really went for it. Somewhere in the 300 calorie area. That would be my starting point for a HIIT type workout. If it involved a lot of muscle burning, I'd go higher, if not, the running pace would be pretty good.

currently cutting

battle log challenges: 19,18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

don't panic!

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hmmm okay.

 

Again it's not something I really concentrate on- I'm just not that motivated to balance calories eaten with calories burned- I'm lazy. and I hate MFP for the way it tracks that stuff.  But it would be nice to know what a weighted 15 minute HIIT session burned LOL.  Cause well- I work damn hard while I'm at that as you very well know!

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Don't underestimate walking as an exercise though.  Pretty useless as far as positive adaptations go, but walking is quite a good exercise for burning up the calories.  What it loses in efficiency it gains in sustainability (you can go for a long time very frequently).  When you're really fat, walking should make up the vast majority of your exercise, simply because it is all you have the capacity to do in meaninful quanties, and you will progress to being able to do massive amounts quite rapidly.

I agree, I lost a lot of weight with almost no risk of injury when I started out, by walking 5km every day. There was very little soreness resulting even though I was heavy. If you can find a walk nearby in an area of natural beauty it lifts your spirits too :positive:

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The strength training entry was clealy created by some old lady doing kickbacks with 3 lb dumbbells, reading off her HRM (which BTW do not work for strength training).

 

The high effort calisthenics and circuit training entries are good #'s if you do mostly compound work and try hard while strength training.  Should be burns in the area of 2/3 to 3/4 your running pace for the same amount of time.

 

Don't underestimate walking as an exercise though.  Pretty useless as far as positive adaptations go, but walking is quite a good exercise for burning up the calories.  What it loses in efficiency it gains in sustainability (you can go for a long time very frequently).  When you're really fat, walking should make up the vast majority of your exercise, simply because it is all you have the capacity to do in meaninful quanties, and you will progress to being able to do massive amounts quite rapidly.

 

This is very true for me.  I'm 306 pounds and quite out of shape--I can't do the body-weight workouts like pushups, can't do a pull-up, get totally gassed after swimming 25m, can't really do much time on an elliptical or circuit training, etc.  But I'm also taking a 5-month-old Great Pyrenees/German Shepherd mix puppy for a walk of anywhere from 0.6 to 1 mile once or twice a day.  In just two months of doing it I've gone from barely being able to go around the block (about .3 miles) to doing triple that without much grief, and that with the dog being bigger and harder to handle.  (I joke around that a dog is the best workout tool ever but I'm half-serious.  He got me out and walking, and that's dropped a few pounds off me and given me enough energy to actually go to the local Y and start doing my weenie little weight and swim workouts.)

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This is very true for me.  I'm 306 pounds and quite out of shape--I can't do the body-weight workouts like pushups, can't do a pull-up, get totally gassed after swimming 25m, can't really do much time on an elliptical or circuit training, etc.  But I'm also taking a 5-month-old Great Pyrenees/German Shepherd mix puppy for a walk of anywhere from 0.6 to 1 mile once or twice a day.  In just two months of doing it I've gone from barely being able to go around the block (about .3 miles) to doing triple that without much grief, and that with the dog being bigger and harder to handle.  (I joke around that a dog is the best workout tool ever but I'm half-serious.  He got me out and walking, and that's dropped a few pounds off me and given me enough energy to actually go to the local Y and start doing my weenie little weight and swim workouts.)

 

Yep.  My first 20 lbs I went from barely being able to walk a mile to demolishing upwards of 8-10 miles a day.  Wasn't until I dropped that first 20 that I started exploring running a little and strength training a little.  Still, I didn't really start strength training seriously until I was already out of the obese category.  Cardio definitely has far more bang for the buck when you're obese, and it really adds to your quality of life fast.

currently cutting

battle log challenges: 19,18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

don't panic!

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I think a lot of people miss this point: The best and most effective way to change body composition is to engage in activities where you activate the most muscle fibers and can infinitely add resistance as you progress. Running and "cardio" are terrible for this. Weight lifting is brilliant for it.

 

Running longer doesn't engage more muscle fibers. Lifting heavier does. Running also never engages all the TYPES of muscle fibers that lifting does.

 

Additionally, running and cardio programs hit the law of diminishing returns very quickly and easily become the antithesis of healthy exercise. The goal is to create a hormonal response that triggers body composition change -- running triggers a hormonal response that cannibalizes muscle. Weight lifting triggers a hormonal response that feeds muscle growth.

 

Walking is outstanding for overall health because the body was designed for high quantity low-level activity. It's the definition of not being sedentary. Jogging, on the other hand, has no evolutionary use. You're either supposed to walk or sprint -- there's no reason to jog anywhere.

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neither is there to drink beer or eat chocolate....  nor pushing around 150 lbs over your head. most lifts aren't that heplful either- squats and dead lfits.  reality are the best- but we do lots of other things that aren't "natural"

 

so yeah- that whole evolutionary argument is a moot point.

 

I am not participating in any sports training whatsoever- I still do speed drills AND longer runs..  I like them- it works. It's fun- and it's something else to do.

 

And there are plenty of reasons to jog..... jogging gets you from point A to point B faster than a walk- and doesn't tire you out.  how are you going to go see your great aunt clickity clack from tribe whoodooyohoo who lives on the other side of the valley in just 2 days walking... you won't- you'd take off on an easy loping jog.

 

 

and while I agree with you about running essentially eating muscles... the rest of it just isn't a sensical statement. 

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neither is there to drink beer or eat chocolate....  nor pushing around 150 lbs over your head. most lifts aren't that heplful either- squats and dead lfits.  reality are the best- but we do lots of other things that aren't "natural"

 

so yeah- that whole evolutionary argument is a moot point.

 

I am not participating in any sports training whatsoever- I still do speed drills AND longer runs..  I like them- it works. It's fun- and it's something else to do.

 

And there are plenty of reasons to jog..... jogging gets you from point A to point B faster than a walk- and doesn't tire you out.  how are you going to go see your great aunt clickity clack from tribe whoodooyohoo who lives on the other side of the valley in just 2 days walking... you won't- you'd take off on an easy loping jog.

 

 

and while I agree with you about running essentially eating muscles... the rest of it just isn't a sensical statement.

 

Not sensical? Running causes the most injuries out of any sport. And you can't be successful when you're constantly battling injuries. Mix that with the fact that nobody has been taught how to run properly and 90% of the people I see doing it are doing it wrong...

 

Sorry, my argument is perfectly sensical.

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This is just silly talk about running. A lot of people have and will continue to have a ton of success using running as a facet of their program. Running doesn't waste away muscles, for the most part that's just a bunch of baseless bro science. There are cases where its true, but 95%+ of runners will never be in that sort of situation.

People who do regular cardio tend to bulk cleaner. Explain that.

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battle log challenges: 19,18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

don't panic!

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Not sensical? Running causes the most injuries out of any sport. And you can't be successful when you're constantly battling injuries. Mix that with the fact that nobody has been taught how to run properly and 90% of the people I see doing it are doing it wrong...

 

Sorry, my argument is perfectly sensical.

no saying that people don't jog from an evolutionary standpoint is nonsensical.  Because what we do has little to do with our evolution.   When are we going to do 90% of the things we train for?  when DID we do those things?  oh that's right.  We didn't.

 

That is what is a silly argument.  all the stuff about running aside- that point just bothers me- there is no point to use an "on from an evolutionary standpoint we never jogged"  it's just a silly straw man argument. 

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no saying that people don't jog from an evolutionary standpoint is nonsensical.  Because what we do has little to do with our evolution.   When are we going to do 90% of the things we train for?  when DID we do those things?  oh that's right.  We didn't.

 

That is what is a silly argument.  all the stuff about running aside- that point just bothers me- there is no point to use an "on from an evolutionary standpoint we never jogged"  it's just a silly straw man argument. 

 

Actually, what you're doing is a logical fallacy. You obviously have something against studying evolutionary biology and throw out every argument that has anything to do with ancestral health. That leads to noboby being able to believe a word you say.

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This is just silly talk about running. A lot of people have and will continue to have a ton of success using running as a facet of their program. Running doesn't waste away muscles, for the most part that's just a bunch of baseless bro science. There are cases where its true, but 95%+ of runners will never be in that sort of situation.

People who do regular cardio tend to bulk cleaner. Explain that.

Should I post all the sources?

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Actually, what you're doing is a logical fallacy. You obviously have something against studying evolutionary biology and throw out every argument that has anything to do with ancestral health. That leads to noboby being able to believe a word you say.

I do not have anything against studying.  Study away. I don't care what you study.  

 

But saying we don't do X exercise because it doesn't make sense from an evolutionary stand point is illogical.  That's even worse than a woman with short hair and pants screeching against homosexuality from leviticus.  Because it's picking and choosing what you want to hear.   People say the same thing about doing things on horses- it's not natural for a horse to do X.   it's not natural for a horse to carry a person either- but we do it anyway- where do you draw the line?   

 

From an evolutionary stand point where?   ancestral health?  were you there?  did you go sprinting to catch your dinner with a spear?  nope I didn't think so.

 

It's much harder to take you seriously if everything you base your premise on you can't physical support and it isn't applicable to toda' environment. 

 

No- you can study ancestral health all you want.  I don't have anything against it- I just don't take you seriously that's all.   :D

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I do not have anything against studying.  Study away. I don't care what you study.  

 

But saying we don't do X exercise because it doesn't make sense from an evolutionary stand point is illogical.  That's even worse than a woman with short hair and pants screeching against homosexuality from leviticus.  Because it's picking and choosing what you want to hear.   People say the same thing about doing things on horses- it's not natural for a horse to do X.   it's not natural for a horse to carry a person either- but we do it anyway- where do you draw the line?   

 

From an evolutionary stand point where?   ancestral health?  were you there?  did you go sprinting to catch your dinner with a spear?  nope I didn't think so.

 

It's much harder to take you seriously if everything you base your premise on you can't physical support and it isn't applicable to toda' environment. 

 

No- you can study ancestral health all you want.  I don't have anything against it- I just don't take you seriously that's all.   :D

 

You don't have to take me seriously. The end result is that you're advocating for something that drives up cortisol levels, reduces lean muscle mass, has the highest injury rate out of any other exercise activity, and makes people hungrier. I'm advocating for doing things that don't have those negative side effects.

 

We'll let everyone decide who they'd rather listen to.

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The end result is that you're advocating for something that drives up cortisol levels, reduces lean muscle mass, has the highest injury rate out of any other exercise activity, and makes people hungrier. I'm advocating for doing things that don't have those negative side effects.

 

Some people enjoy running, you know.  And enjoy eating, so what's so wrong about some extra hunger?

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