Whether considering Muir Woods tours or another popular destination, there is one common question that people often have when it comes to taking a trip for the purpose of enjoying the benefits that mother nature has to offer – should they prefer running or hiking. Both of these activities have their own benefits to offer and can be a great way to get fit and even to help burn a few calories, leading to weight loss. In this post, we compare the two activities to help you make a more informed decision.

Should You Take A Run Or Go Hiking?

Running or hiking – this is a common question that people tend to ask. They often want to compare the benefits and potential drawbacks of each, and would like to ultimately decide which is best. In reality, there isn’t really a “best” option between the two, but rather the most ideal option for each individual person.

Both of these activities provide you with a way to give your body some exercise – and we all know that exercise is definitely beneficial for the entire body. Exercise holds both mental and physical benefits.

Let’s take a look at some potential benefits that the two activities can provide, and a couple of differences within each of these benefits.

Spend Some Time Outdoors

Both hiking and running allow you to spend some time outdoors. This is one of the greatest benefits that need to be taken into account, as it has been found that spending time outdoors can be good for the brain and overall mental health. You also get to disconnect from technology, which is causing mental fatigue and many other issues in the modern world. Furthermore, it has also been found that spending some time outdoors in nature can help a person connect with themselves.

When you spend time outdoors, whether you decide to go for a run or rather to go hiking instead, you also get to clear your mind. This is another important benefit, as you get to release the thought of things that are causing you to feel stressed.

You Can Burn Some Calories

Whether you choose to run or hike, both of these activities will help you burn calories. This is very useful in helping you reduce excess weight that you might have gained. Since being overweight or obese can be very dangerous for your health, if these conditions affect you, then the fact that you can burn some calories with these activities are surely helpful.

You can burn an average of around 266 calories if you decide to hike for a period of about half an hour. If you decide to run instead, you can burn about 355 calories if you run for the same period of time. It should be noted, however, that the specific number of calories you will burn will depend on a few factors – such as your current weight, as well as the intensity of the particular activity that you will be participating in. A more intense hike could help you burn more calories than a simple run.

Which Option Is Best For You?

Instead of asking if running or hiking is best, you should really ask which of these options would be the best for you, in particular. This particular question is something that only you would be able to answer in the end. You will need to take a few factors into account.

Running is something that you can do anywhere – in fact, you can even run in your own yard. With hiking, however, there are limitations. The chances that you have a mountain on your property is very slim. So, if you would prefer hiking to run, you will need to have access to an appropriate hiking trail that you can follow. This is one of the major areas where running may be a more convenient option for you.

On the other hand, however, hiking does allow you to explore nature at a much better scale compared to running. People often run on roads and less often in the forest. With hiking, you are going to be exploring a forest, climbing up a mountain, and when you finish the hiking trail, there is often quite an amazing view waiting for you at the top of the path.

Thus, you should consider both of these activities careful, consider your own specific situation, and then determine which one you would prefer.


While both hiking and running are great outdoor activities, each has a number of pros and cons that you should really take into consideration if you are trying to decide which is best for you. Both of these activities can help you burn excess calories and lose some weight, as well as contribute to your overall fitness, but the limitations imposed by hiking can sometimes make this the more difficult activity between the two.