How many calories does running burn? It's probably more than you think (Women & Home)

Posted: Apr 16, 2023 in In the News

This article originally appeared in Women & Home on April 16, 2023.


How many calories does running burn? It's probably more than you think

By Grace Walsh

How many calories does running burn? Whether you're looking to lose, maintain, or gain weight through regular exercise (and a healthy diet), it's probably a question you've asked before and received a different answer every time. 

The good news is, compared to other cardio exercises like walking and cycling, running is a particularly high-calorie burning exercise as it quickly increases your heart rate and gets almost every muscle in the body moving. 

When it comes to running for weight loss, however, the most important element to consider is calories in versus calories out. I.e. a calorie deficit. Running, thanks to its high calorie-burning potential, can help you get into this deficit in a healthy and sustainable way. But first, it's helpful to know how many calories you're burning with your weekly runs. So here, woman&home speaks to a running specialist and a physician to reveal all you need to know, including how many calories are burned in 30-minute and one-mile sessions.


On average, running burns between 280 to 520 calories per 30 minutes, says personal trainer and running specialist David Wiener. "Running is one of the best exercises for high-calorie burn due to the vast amount of muscles that are needed to work hard together," he explains.

As your muscles are moving, board-certified physician Dr Thais Aliabadi says, "Your heart is pumping more blood, your lungs are working harder, and you are using a lot of energy. All these factors help you burn more calories." 

However, they both agree, several factors impact how quickly we burn calories, which is why there is such a large possible calorie burn range. For example, the type of running you do is important. Running at a fast pace for 30 minutes will naturally burn more calories than running slower as more effort is needed. Equally, running on an incline will have the same effect as your body works harder to keep up with the challenge. 

But not only is the type of running important, everyone's body reacts differently to exercise based on a number of personal factors. So even if two people do the exact same exercise, they'll burn a different number of calories at the end of the workout. 

Two of the most important factors that play into how quickly someone burns calories are: 

  • Weight: If you weigh more, you'll burn more calories. "Calories are a measure of energy," Weiner, who works alongside AI-based fitness and lifestyle coaching app Freeletics, reminds us, "So if you weigh more, you will have a higher energy expenditure while running as you need more energy to move."
  • Fitness levels: If you're fitter and exercise regularly, you'll burn fewer calories with the same amount of effort as someone who runs less regularly doing the same exercise. "If you are on a run with a friend and struggling to keep up, you will burn more calories because you are using more energy," says Dr Aliabadi, who is also the founder of


It's estimated by many, including the American Council on Exercise, that running one mile burns roughly 100 calories. According to the organization's chart, a 140lb (63kg / 10 stone) person burns 13.2 calories per minute. This means a 10-minute mile would burn 132 calories, increasing with every minute spent running. If a person weighed 160lb instead and also ran a mile in 10 minutes, the number of calories burned for that session would increase to 151. 




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