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Because for looking reasons (sweating) and lack of free time, I decided to convert my 40min cardio in the morning per day (I'm doing this usually), to walking to my office which is about 4.5km (2.79 miles) from my home.

With the cardio I burned about 300 to 570 calories. With the long distance walking, from home to office and vice versa (9km or 5.59 miles), and with the help of a GPS mobile app (runtastic like), it shows that I'm burning about 530 calories.

Is it possible? Which is your recommendation?

My main goal is fat loss. I do daily strength training for core and upper body.

I prefer walking because when I'm at the office I'm not tired or sweating excessively. I read that cardio is melting fat, especially in the morning before breakfast, but also I know that a burned calorie is a burned calorie.

(I've lost 19kg/41.88 lbs since August)

  • My "daily commute" is roughly 2 miles each way on foot. It's a great way to de-stress and get some built-in exercise. It's also handy to know that you can walk several miles without incident which is sadly abnormal in modern society. – Eric Jan 1 '15 at 17:42
  • You burned 530 calories from walking 6 miles without sweating? I'm a little skeptical about the number. – Kneel-Before-ZOD Feb 1 '15 at 2:58
  • 3 miles in morning, 3 miles in evening – hambos22 Feb 2 '15 at 8:51
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It seems that you have two questions. If I understand your post correctly, your first question could be posed as follows:

"Is it possible that my 2.79M walk burns the same amount of calories as my 40min cardio routine?"

Answer: Not likely. The link that you provided in your question shows a workout routine that is much higher intensity than just walking. And, given that the two activities are approximately the same duration, the higher intensity routine will burn more calories.

My recommendation on what you actually do is based on your stated goal of losing fat. First, I have to correct your assumption that "a burned calorie is a burned calorie." This is NOT true.

At higher intensities, your body metabolizes a higher percentage of carbohydrates to generate energy. At lower intensities, your body metabolizes fat at a higher percentage to generate energy. The ideal intensity at which to "burn fat" is in Heart Rate Zone 2.

Therefore, my recommendation is that you neither walk to work or do the cardio kick boxing. Instead, I would recommend jogging easy to work and toweling off when you get there.

This link has some information about heart rate zones.

  • Thank you for your great answer! Just to fix something to your answer: I didn't say 2.79M burn same amount as 40min cario. 5.59M burns same amount as 40min. Unfortunately I can't jogging to work. I have a bag with HDD's and a Macbook on my back hahahah. Is it good idea to just walk from home to work, and from work to home and then in the night to do a cardio? Or is it too much? – hambos22 Dec 2 '14 at 8:01
  • Ok, that makes more sense. I think that it IS very likely that walking 5.59M requires the same calories as the 40min cardio. I would recommend walking. This is because in the pursuit of fitness, consistency is much more beneficial than intensity. If you get burned out an quit, you won't get any benefit. Whereas, because walking is easier, you will likely continue it for a long time. Additionally, it is low impact and you reduce your chance of injury. – klsoren Dec 2 '14 at 16:45
  • I read the question the same way. – Noumenon Mar 3 '15 at 3:39
  • While fat vs carb burning at certain heart rates is correct, a high intensity workout tends to still burn more fat, simply because you burn more calories overall. Diet is also a consideration. A high-protein diet will have less carbs to burn during training. – Chris Bornhoft Mar 10 '15 at 15:34
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You can actually burn that amount of calories by walking, but remember that the calories include the ones burned by your organism at rest. If you would sit down instead of walking you would also burn calories because every live cell in your body needs energy for normal processes. That being said, you have to know that calories are NOT the only thing you have to take into consideration. Sprint training, for example, helps develop muscle mass, which in turn increases your metabolic rate, so you burn calories throughout the day.

Bottom line, keep walking, but dont abandon running occasionally, like 2-3 times per week.

Rene Custals MD

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I wouldn't put too much emphasis on the heart rate zones and calorie numbers. The general rule of thumb for fat loss is the two extremes. Walking and sprinting. Joggingis the middle ground and it can get you in trouble if you do too much of it (eg. overproduction of cortisol, fat storing hormone). The daily walking you are doing sounds great for your goals.

I would start mixing in some high intensity intervals at the end of your strength training sessions or on opposite days, time permitting of course. You can sprint, do bodyweight exercises. The mode really doesn't matter. Find something intense you can do for 20 to 30 seconds maximum and then give yourself a minute to recover and repeat 7 or 8 times. The calories you are burning while you are doing the actual work aren't really all that important. It is the intensity that counts. The harder you work, the more calories you are going to burn in the post exercise period and that is where the real fat loss occurs. Google 'EPOC'. There are lots of great articles on it

Try not to get caught up in the overthinking. I have been there. It is counterproductive.

Hope that helps,

Mike

  • -1. Cortisol production increases with exercise intensity. Additionally, as the body becomes used to the level of effort, cortisol production will start dropping off with the same level of stimulus. – JohnP Dec 3 '14 at 18:22
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You're hitting all the right targets - some strength training, some cardio, watching your diet, and the results are obvious. Instead of micro-optimizing by worrying about heart rate zones, just do whatever you can be most consistent at and keep doing it. Fitness is a long game.

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The answer to your question is: Yes, the numbers are real.

Whether you burn those calories from walking, sprinting or doing housework the result (net burned calories) is exactly the same.

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