Running vs jumping jacks: Which one if better for weight loss?


Planning to lose weight, but don’t know if you should go for a run or do jumping jacks? We tell you if running is better than jumping jacks for weight loss or not.

Running is perfect for those who don’t like to use equipment or go to a gym, but want to burn calories. There are other fun and effective exercises as well. One of them is jumping jack that can activate all the muscles in your body. But if you compare jumping jacks and running only from the perspective of weight loss, there may be a winner. Let’s find out what an expert has to say about this debate on running vs jumping jacks for weight loss.

How many calories can you burn by running?

Running engages multiple muscle groups, making it an efficient cardiovascular exercise that not only aids in calorie burning during the activity but also contributes to an elevated metabolism post-exercise. Individual factors like fitness level and metabolism also play a role in determining the overall calorie burn achieved through running. On an average, a person weighing around 70 kilos can burn approximately 240 calories in 30 minutes of running at a moderate pace of 6 miles per hour, says health and fat loss coach Jashan Vij.

Woman running
Running is a good weight loss exercise. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

If the pace is increased to 8 miles per hour, the calorie burn can go up to around 372 calories in the same duration. Adjusting the running duration and intensity allows for flexibility in achieving specific calorie-burning goals.

What is the right way to run for weight loss?

The optimal way to run for weight loss involves a strategic combination of steady-state runs and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Incorporate both longer, moderate-paced runs to enhance endurance and shorter, intense intervals to boost calorie burn and metabolism. Consistency is key; aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity running per week, suggests the expert.

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Also, you also need to eat a balanced diet rich in whole foods along with running if you want to lose weight.

Is outdoor running better than running on a treadmill?

The choice between running outside and on a treadmill depends on personal preferences and goals.

1. Running outside

It offers varied terrain and engages different muscles, providing a more dynamic experience. It also exposes individuals to fresh air and nature, promoting mental well-being.

2. Running on treadmills

It offers controlled conditions, ideal for precise training and weather-independent workouts.

Outdoor running adds variety while treadmills offer convenience. The key is to choose the option that aligns with individual preferences, fitness levels and the desired overall running experience.

What are jumping jacks?

Jumping jacks are a full-body exercise that involves jumping to a position with legs spread wide and hands touching overhead, then returning to a position with feet together and arms at the sides.

Woman jumping
Jumping jacks are a simple yet effective cardio exercise. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Here’s how to do jumping jacks:

  • To perform jumping jacks, start with your feet together and arms at your sides.
  • Jump as you raise your arms overhead and spread your legs.
  • Then quickly jump back to the starting position.

Ensure proper form with each jump, landing softly to minimise impact on joints, says Vij.

How many calories can one burn by doing jumping jacks?

Incorporating jumping jacks into your fitness routine can enhance endurance and burn calories. As for the number of calories burned by doing jumping jacks, it depends on factors like weight and intensity. An individual weighing around 70 kgs can burn approximately 100 calories in 10 minutes of continuous jumping jacks. For effective weight loss, aim for at least 20 to 30 minutes of moderate-intensity jumping jacks several times a week.

Running vs jumping jacks for weight loss

Both running and jumping jacks can be effective for weight loss, but their impact depends on individual preferences and fitness levels, says the expert.

Running is a high-intensity cardiovascular exercise that engages multiple muscle groups, contributing to significant calorie burn. Jumping jacks, while also effective for cardiovascular fitness, may be gentler on joints and offer a versatile, at-home option.

It is all about personal preferences, ensuring consistency and enjoyment.

Who should avoid these exercises?

But people with certain health conditions should exercise caution or avoid running and jumping jacks.

  • Those with joint problems, especially in the knees or ankles, may find these high-impact exercises exacerbate discomfort.
  • Individuals with cardiovascular issues should consult a healthcare professional before engaging in intense activities like running.
  • Pregnant women, unless cleared by their doctor, might need to modify these exercises.

Others can combine the two exercises in a well-rounded workout routine. Whatever you decide, ensure that you are checking with your healthcare provider before making any changes in your routine.


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