Burning calories is one of the main reasons people get out and exercise. When you expend more calories than you consume, you lose weight. Burning calories can also help you manage your weight so you can subsist on more than lettuce leaves and water. Running is an effective calorie burner, but you may enjoy step aerobics more and wonder if it provides as great of results.
How many calories you burn in any given activity depends on a number of factors. The larger you are, the more calories you burn because it takes greater effort for your body to move a bigger engine. The intensity of the activity also determines calories burned. A faster run, for example, or a run uphill requires greater effort and results in a bigger burn. The efficiency of your movement also factors into the final amount of calories burned. Elite runners burn fewer calories during training than newbies because their systems have adapted to the work to make them more efficient.
Whether or not your step workout burns more than a run depends on how fast you are going. If you are on the modest side of speed, an 11.5-minute-mile on average, you burn just 270 calories per half hour of running if you weigh 125 pounds. A step class burns 300 calories in this same amount of time. Go at a 10-minute-per-mile pace and burn an equivalent number of calories. As you become speedier, your calorie burn for running outpaces that of step class. A 9-minute mile burns 330 calories in 30 minutes and a 7.5-minute mile burns 375 calories.
Before choosing your exercise based on calorie burn, ask yourself what activity you most enjoy. If you are happier stepping with a group and more motivated to attend, then step aerobics is a better choice, even if you burn fewer calories in your workout. When you move with a group, you may be more likely to exercise for longer than you would running on your own resulting in a higher calorie burn. Running can be monotonous and if you dread it to the point of avoidance, it certainly does not help you burn calories. A 1997 issue of the вЂњJournal of Sports Medicine and Physical FitnessвЂќ published a study concluding that regular participation in a high-intensity step class enhanced mood and reduced feelings of anger.
Learning step aerobics' moves does take some time. During this learning phase, you may be starting and stopping often and not burning as many calories. You also need to have access to a class or a video and a step bench. Running can be done almost anywhere, as long as you have a good pair of running shoes. If you include both in your workout, you benefit by burning calories and cross training. Step aerobics utilizes different muscles than running, reducing your chances of overusing any one muscle group and creating imbalances which can lead to injury.