Running Flat vs Running Uphill to Burn Calories

running uphill calories
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Do you love to run to lose weight? Running is a great way to burn calories.  But jogging may burn fewer calories than you think.  Get a good estimate of how many calories you burn running and how many calories you burn running uphill before you indulge in that celebratory post-run treat or meal.

Calories Burned Running

According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), a 150-pound person burns just under 700 calories per hour while running 6 miles per hour on a flat surface.

That would mean that you are jogging at a 10-minute per mile pace.

But it's important to remember that the number is a general estimate. The exact number of calories that you burn while running will depend on a few variables like your body size, your fitness level, and the running conditions. You'll get a good estimate by using the ACE Physical Activity Calculator.  Then adjust your number according to these variables:

  • Decrease the number of calories if you are running on a treadmill
  • Increase the number of calories if you are running uphill or on an unstable surface.
  • Decrease the number of calories if you are running downhill
  • Increase the number of calories if you are not a regular runner

To burn more calories while jogging, consider throwing in a few high-intensity intervals. Jog at a moderate pace for 3-4 minutes, then sprint for one minute. Repeat the sequence 4-6 times for an effective weight loss workout.

Running Uphill-Calories Burned

The number of calories you burn while running uphill will also depend on a number of factors, including speed, body weight and most importantly the level of incline. Jogging up a gradual incline will burn far fewer calories than sprinting up a steep grade. For this reason, it's hard to give an exact number of the calories burned running uphill.

But there are some ways to estimate it. If you use a treadmill that calculates energy expenditure, it's likely that the calorie count provided is fairly accurate. You might note the percent difference in running at a 0% grade and at a steep incline (10-12%) to use as a guide for the percent increase in calories that might happen when you run outside.

You might also use another intense activity as a guide. Adding an incline to your workout is similar to adding speed. So you can estimate that running uphill burns about the same calories as running faster. For example, the 150-pound runner listed about would burn 1095 calories sprinting for an hour as opposed to the 700 he would jog at a more leisurely pace.

There are a few online calculators that can calculate the number of calories burned running uphill. They may give you a better number, but you still need to take them with a grain of salt. The calculators require you to input the exact grade of the hill where you train; a number most runners aren't likely to know. 

How to Lose Weight With a Running Program

Running is a great way to burn calories and fat.  But runners still need to optimize their energy balance to lose weight and stay fit.

  You'll find plenty of great running tips from Christine Luff, a Running and Jogging Expert.  Then take steps to organize and improve your diet so that you get the energy you need without eating too much.