The quest to lose body fat will inevitably have a person questioning which exercise is best to get rid of the flab? After all – there’s no sense in wasting time with exercises that aren’t as beneficial for burning fat if a particular activity is more conducive to your goals, right? Many a runner started running as a method to control body weight and lose unwanted pounds but the fact is that there are far better ways to lose body fat.

Myth 4 – Jogging is best for fat loss.

Jogging is a great physical activity. Aside from burning calories, it just makes a nice evening nicer when you get the opportunity to run outside at a leisurely pace and let go of all your daily stress.

We’re not knocking the sport of running. It’s just that if your goal is to burn body fat, you’ll want to consider an alternative. Jogging is a steady-state aerobic activity and the body adapts to steady-state exercise. It “learns” your nightly ritual of heading out for 30 minutes and exerting the exact same amount of energy night after night. The body compensates for your lack of oxygen by making you a better runner. After several months, jogging becomes far less challenging and that means you’re burning far fewer calories and all your physiological processes are becoming more efficient. Your body adapts to running as you do it more often and that’s anything but ideal when you’re trying to lose more weight.

So what’s the answer?

Sprinting or walking. How’s that you say?

man jogging in grassThe International Journal Of Sports Nutrition released an interesting study in 2012 that compared metabolic rates of jogging and sprinting. Half the participants engaged in 30 minutes of steady-state jogging and the other half simply performed sprints within a two minute period. Oxygen intake was 150% greater for the joggers during the exercise but over the next 24 hours, it was nearly identical for both groups.

Sprinting increases metabolism far more than jogging and burns more calories all day. If two minutes of sprinting was equal to 30 minutes of jogging, consider the effects of performing several sprints over a period greater than two minutes.

It’s not just about oxygen either. Jogging is fueled by carbohydrates you consume and hard earned muscle that you already have. Fat is the last fuel used when jogging. While sprinting isn’t using fat for fuel either, your max VO₂ ensures that muscle isn’t being used during the activity.

In short, sprinting burns carbohydrates while you’re running and more body fat the rest of the day. Jogging burns carbohydrates and muscle while you’re running and then burns mostly fat the rest of the day.

If your goal is fat loss, you’ll want to focus on keeping as much muscle on your body as possible so jogging makes the least sense. You’ll also find that sprinting greatly increases overall energy levels.

So what’s this about walking? When you walk, you’re heart rate is low enough that you’re burning mostly boy fat during the exercise. You won’t burn as much fat the rest of the day but so long as calories are controlled and you’re not over-indulging every day, you’ll see great results.

Jogging makes you a better jogger. Sprinting, and even walking, makes you a better fat burner. Be careful not to fall down during your sprint though.