Hiking Vs running: Both of these physical activities are aerobic exercises that have a positive impact on the health and well being.

A regular session of physical activity is certain to help lower the risk of serious health condition and diseases, plus it helps to lose body fat and maintain a targeted body weight.

Hiking Vs Running

Hiking or running has the potential to burn 200-500+ calories per hour.


Hiking is very efficient at burning calories provided the hike is over elevated terrain and lasts for 2+ hours.

The calorie burn while hiking is directly related to the duration of the hike and body weight. For instance a hiker at 125-lbs has the ability to burn approx 175 calories on a half-hour hike while a hiker at a heavier 185-lb has the potential to drop 265 calories on a similar length hiking trip.

Hiking is great for those living in rural areas and loves nature and the outdoor environment.

But, for those living in the urban areas, hiking is still a great possibility, although it might be necessary to make a lengthy car journey to reach the most scenic hiking spots.


Backpacking is much the same as hiking, but comes with the addition of a backpack filled with essential supplies to last a day-hike or multi-day hike.

A long-distance backpacking hike has the potential to burn more calories because of the high load.

For instance a 185-lbs hiker has the potential to burn about 565 calories per hour with a fully-loaded pack on the back.


Running is a popular physical activity and helps to burn calories and is easy to undertake indoors (treadmill or track) or outdoors. Run at the greater speed and at a long duration to burn the most calories.

A runner who weighs in the region of 125-140-lbs has the potential to drop 240-255 calories per hour while running at 5 miles per hour for 30 minutes.

But, a faster running pace of 7.5 miles per hour for the same duration will help to burn 375-395 calories.

Vigorous Running

Running at a vigorous pace is the most effective option to burn calories and lose weight.

For instance, a runner at 205-lbs who runs at 8 miles per hour has the potential to burn 1250 calories an hour while a run at 10 miles per hour will increase this to 1500 calories.

Other issues

Running and hiking are great both aerobic exercises to help burn calories – although running is the more vigorous exercise and should help to burn the calories at a faster rate.

But, a key factor to consider is the overall length of the physical activity. For instance a hike at 1.5 hours will burn a more calories compared to a 60 minute run.

In summary

Whether the preferred physical activity is running or hiking, either of these options help to meet the recommended exercise as stated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – the suggest physical activity is 2.5 hours of aerobic exercise (moderate) or 1.15 hours of aerobic exercise (vigorous).