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How Many Calories are Burned by Jogging 4 Miles?

By SarahShebek

Many casual joggers pound the pavement to burn pesky calories, but calculating the burn for specific distances can be difficult without high-tech equipment. In general, the best way to calculate how many calories a jogger burns per mile is to use a formula involving the consideration of the participant's weight, but age and environment can also be factors. Though the numbers may vary, running and jogging are one of the cheapest, best forms of exercise, as well as one of the fastest ways to attack body fat.

Expert Insight

The more oxygen that someone uses in physical activity, the more calories will be burned, and as an anaerobic exercise, jogging puts a participant in oxygen debt fairly quickly. Investigators at Syracuse University decided to measure the actual calorie burn of 12 men and 12 women while running and walking close to a mile on a treadmill. Their study, published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, found that the men burned an average of 124 calories when they ran, and the women burned 105. In the same report, the experts devised a method that they believe is the best way of calculating total calorie burn per mile. Take 0.75 x (your weight in pounds). Multiply this total times the number of miles ran, and it accurately indicates total loss. For example, a jogger who weighs 150 pounds and runs four miles would burn roughly 450 calories. We get this number by taking 150 x 0.75, which equals 112.5, then multiplying by four, since the jogger ran four miles.


Because jogging burns calories so efficiently, it is one of the best ways to stay fit. The simple calorie burn formula devised by experts only accounts for weight and the number of miles, but effectively helps participants keep track of how many calories they shed per workout. Contrary to popular belief, speed is not a significant factor, which should be encouraging to those most comfortable jogging a 14-minute mile. The average casual jogger is capable of running four miles in under an hour, meaning that it only takes a small slice of time each day to make up for eating that Big Mac.


Weight is the main consideration when it comes to shedding calories while jogging, but other factors like age and the environment also come into play. For example, the older a person is, the slower his or her metabolism works, meaning that the body becomes less efficient at calorie loss. Researchers have also found that running outdoors tends to burn about 5 percent more calories than on a treadmill, due to wind resistance and rougher terrain. An even better method of cutting calories is to jog in water, which allows runners to burn twice as many calories per minute as they would on land.


Running and jogging have numerous health benefits, aiding in lowering blood pressure, maximizing the potential of the lungs, and strengthening the heart. Many runners also experience a euphoric, sometimes addicting, reaction during the activity or immediately after, commonly known as a "runner's high." This release of betaendorphins is the body's way of alleviating pain, but also creates a positive psychological sensation of happiness and exhilaration. And some doctors claim that running works as well as psychotherapy in treating patients with clinical depression or drug addiction, because it strengthens many participants both physically and emotionally, allowing them to refocus their lives.


Although jogging outdoors is more conducive to burning calories than time on the treadmill, it also makes it more likely that injury will occur. The pounding the body takes on hard surfaces can lead to common ailments like shin splits, or more serious concerns like a sprained ankle or a strained ligament. Before undertaking this strenuous activity, would-be runners should undergo a thorough physical examination to make sure they have no pre-existing conditions that would make it dangerous, or even deadly, to run.

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