Hiking Or Jogging: Which Will You Choose

What’s Better: Hiking Or Jogging?

Hiking and jogging are two of the most common aerobic or cardiovascular exercises. These physical activities are known to improve your heart and your lungs, giving you the feeling of accomplishment.

The question of which is better will always depend on several factors and considerations that you need to look into in more depth.

What’s better: hiking or jogging? Jogging is a more vigorous cardio exercise, and it can help you burn a lot more calories than hiking. Running for 60 minutes can burn up to 1350 calories, although body weight and intensity will have a bigger impact on the results.

In this article, you will learn more information about jogging and hiking in general and what seems to be the best workout for you if you want to lose weight.

Comparing Jogging to Hiking

In terms of finding the perfect exercise for your physique, it is always a question of whether to go for a jog or go hiking.

Before considering the effectiveness of one over the other, it is vital to lose weight. You need to burn more calories than you consume.

Creating a calorie deficit requires you to perform physical activities that will cause the body to metabolize your fat into energy.

This means that if you want to lose weight, the calories consumed via your diet have to be fewer than those you burn on a day-to-day basis.

Because of the recommended calories per day depending on your age, activity, and gender, you need to consult a professional before going into this intense training.

To find out more about hiking and jogging in general, let us define them both and learn about the differences, as well as the benefits they can give to your body.


Many people opt for hiking as a form of exercise, and they use it as a tool for weight loss. However, some people don’t know whether hiking is a good exercise or a cardio activity.

For starters, there are different types of hiking. These are backpacking, summit, and long-distance hiking. 

Whatever you prefer, if you weigh 125 pounds and go for a 30-minute cross-country hike, you will most likely burn 180 calories.

This is slightly more than a person of the same weight opting to choose walking or even dancing as a form of cardio exercise. Furthermore, hiking can burn up to 266 calories and 223 calories for people who weigh 155 and 185 pounds.

There is also some recorded research that shows a 154-pound individual can burn 370 calories an hour. This is double the amount compared to the same individual hiking for only 30 minutes.

Hiking is a good form of exercise because it helps you manage your weight and boost your muscle strength. It can also enhance your balance and mood and strengthen your core.

Hiking is a full-body workout that engages different muscles in your body, like your quadriceps, calves, glutes, hamstrings, thighs, lower back, and hip flexors.

Benefits of Hiking

Hiking will help you in so many ways. Part of the allure of hiking is that you’re able to enjoy the scenery.

Here are some of the benefits you can get from hiking that you won’t be able to get if you decide to go for a jog:

  • When it comes to hiking, one of the best-known benefits is that it takes place in natural areas. This means that the air quality is often much better.

    Meanwhile, most jogging activities occur on a treadmill or through city parks and suburbs.

    Cities and suburbs often have high levels of outdoor pollution. It is known that air pollution is even worse indoors than outdoors.
  • Hiking activities are more likely to occur on uneven surfaces. This gives hikers a better balance than that of runners, which is especially true when you hike on graded surfaces.

    In addition, a hiker will be able to explore the wildlife and spend more time with nature.


On the other hand, jogging has been the chosen method by many people because you can opt for a light, moderate, or vigorous pace.

Regardless of the pace you take, you will still be able to reap all the benefits needed for weight loss.

If you are jogging at a slow speed of around 5 mph or doing marathon wheeling, you can burn 355 calories for a person who weighs 185 pounds.

Moderate jogging at 7.5 mph, or 8 minutes per mile, can burn up to 555 calories.

If you have the same weight and you engage in vigorous jogging for 6 minutes per mile, or 10 mph, you can burn 733 calories. You can also jog in the same place.

This is the best option to lose weight. Some people run around the house. A treadmill can help you track your progress and reach a certain level of intensity or mode.

Benefits of Jogging

The main advantage of jogging or running is that you can do it pretty much anywhere.

In fact, if you have your very own treadmill, you won’t have to leave your house to go for a jog. The same can’t be said about hiking, as if you go for a hike, you will need to find a hiking trail.

These are not easy to find in some areas of the country. Here are some benefits you can get from jogging that you can’t get from hiking:

Adds Years to Your Life

Plenty of research shows that jogging can increase your lifespan. Research on running and longevity found that runners have a 25% to 30% lower rate of all-cause mortality than non-runners. If you continue to run, you will gain three extra years of life.

This is because running can give you better cardiovascular fitness. It gives you better body composition, lower cholesterol, an excellent amount of glucose and insulin control, stronger bones, better hormone regulation, and positive neurological functioning.

Jogging gives you the option to live longer. This is why it is one of the most recommended exercises, especially for senior citizens.

Helps You Sleep Better

If you have not seen many articles about the importance of sleep in the past decades, you’ve been living under a rock.

Sleep is essential to people and especially to athletes because, after all, it is the time when the body performs all of its repairs.

It is known that exercise helps you fall asleep more quickly, and it improves your sleep quality.

An article in the American Journal of Lifestyle Exercise notes that exercise and sleep quality go hand in hand. The more you exercise, the better your quality of sleep will be.

A myth says that runners should not run during the night because this can disrupt their sleeping. The research debunks this myth. Running actually helps you sleep better but do not go for intense jogging.

Improves Your Knees and Back

It might be hard to believe, but jogging can improve your knees and back. Many people find it hard to believe this because they considered jogging to be an impact sport, which can be bad on your joints.

This is true, but it is also true that inactive and out-of-shape adults have worse knee and more back problems as compared to most runners.

One study compared 675 joggers with non-active controls and concluded that the arthritis rate of active joggers was below that of the general United States population.

When researchers looked at participants’ knees, they found that the extreme running burden seems to not have a significant negative influence on knee joint tissues.

Things to Consider When Choosing Between Hiking and Jogging

While both of these exercises are great ways to explore nature, enjoy quality time with friends, and get your heart rate up, it can still be difficult to decide which one is right for you. Here are some of the differentiating points to consider:

You Get to Burn Calories at Different Paces

If your goal is to lose weight and burn a significant amount of calories, both activities can give you results.

For instance, hiking for 30 minutes will help you burn at least 266 calories, while jogging for the same amount of time will help you burn 350 calories.

This only means that it is much easier to compensate for your duration and level of difficulty in getting the desired amount of calories you want to burn.

The benefit of burning calories while you are hiking is that you get to do it by climbing a mountain, and you will be rewarded with an amazing view of the landscape.

On the other hand, jogging allows you to do exercise at your own pace, so you can burn certain calories at whatever speed you choose. There’s no need to go to distant places. You can even run around your house.

You Can Achieve Physical and Mental Fitness

With the pandemic going around, almost everyone wants to be physically fit now that they have the time to do it. Both hiking and jogging can accomplish this goal.

The recommended amount of time to spend on vigorous activities per week is around 75 minutes or at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or aerobic activities per week.

Both jogging and hiking can help you reach the level of fitness you want. It will be easier to achieve this by simply jogging around your house as opposed to driving to a mountain to hike.

Try not to overdo it in the beginning, and try to get the proper attire and footwear so that you won’t develop blisters. If you really want to get fit as quickly as possible, jogging will be your choice.

If you are looking for some sights and exploration, hiking would be best for you.

Staying fit has many health benefits. Regular exercise helps reduce the elderly’s chances of coronary heart issues and strokes.

It will help younger people reduce their chances of contracting diseases like diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.

For people who love to jog, there’s great news: It can reduce their risk of getting heart disease by 4.5% if they run an hour a day.

You Get to Unplug and Get Some Alone Time

One of the many great things about hiking and running is that they not only help you physically but also enhance your mental health.

This is the perfect time to unwind and unplug from all the stressful things happening in your life.

You can get some alone time if you are an introvert, or you can invite a friend to go jogging or hiking with you.

Getting some time to get away and think will be much easier when you go for a hike, as there won’t be too many distractions along the way.

When you jog, you will see many people around you, and you will be reminded of the things you need to do. Plus, your phone will continue to buzz all day.


Hiking and jogging both offer a wide variety of benefits. If you pair them with a regular diet, you could be blasting away all those calories.

Each comes with a unique set of benefits, and you will reap both sets of advantages if you include each of these exercises in your workout plan.

However, before you decide which one to go for, you should consult an expert. This way, you can align your diet and all the activities you plan to include in your workout regimen.

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