If the words “walking burns more calories than running” shock you, we have some news for you. Celebrity mega-trainer Tracy Anderson—who has toned the bodies of Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, Cameron Diaz, Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham, Gisele Bündchen, Nicole Richie, Jessica Simpson, Kate Hudson, Molly Sims, Jennifer Aniston, Alessandra Ambrosio, Shakira, and Hilary Rhoda, just to name a few, says that you might be wasting your time with all that running. In fact, she prefers the slower pace.
“You burn less calories running than walking if you aren’t able to run for very long or run very well,” Anderson told People. “To really be effective and calorie-burning, you have to be able to work your body to where it’s working up a sweat, where it’s pushing into that zone of actually being optimized to be effective in the calorie-burning range, so it’s much better to go for a long and powerful walk than it is to go for a short run.”
Though walking is usually painted as running’s ugly stepsister, Anderson explained that’s just not so. “I always approve walking as a really great cardiovascular workout to do,” she said. “It’s something that people think is for the aging crowd or that it’s not really aggressive enough, and I completely disagree with that. It’s a really responsible form of exercise.”
What’s more, it’s accessible to all—not just to cardiovascular masters. “One of the great things about walking is that it’s something that almost everybody can do,” she said. “It’s something that is very healthy because it doesn’t have harsh impact on your joints. And even though you are doing the same movement over and over, you can change your speed, you can change your stride, you can change all different things to keep yourself engaged.”
Don’t forget the earbuds, she added. “If you walk for exercise, put on your headphones, put on a good playlist, because you do become more internally charged to music,” Anderson said.
Anderson’s words are practically gospel among the fit set, so you might want to consider a brisk walk sometime this week. It might do wonders—at least for your posterior, on which Anderson likes to focus. As she put it to the Daily News last year, “As Jennifer Lopez’s trainer, I hope that the butt stays in.” Indeed.