Does Walking or Dancing Burn More Fat?

Walking and dancing are easy -- and fun -- forms of aerobic exercise. Walking and dancing help burn fat, and you can determine the amount and rate. If you want to burn a little fat, go for a leisurely stroll or slowly move around the dance floor. Walking on a treadmill and high-energy dancing, such as Zumba, burn more fat.

Start Slow

Any exercise is good for you, even if it doesn't reduce maximum calories. Slow walking and slow dancing are examples of low-impact workouts. Either physical activity can be done just for fun or as starting points to more vigorous exercise. According to MayoClinic.com, leisurely walking for one hour takes off 183 calories for a person weighing 160 pounds. According to the American Council on Exercise, slower paced dances including the waltz or foxtrot can burn 329 calories in one hour for a person weighing 125 pounds.

The Next Level

Increasing your walking pace or dancing tempo burns more fat. A more brisk walk can take off 277 calories in one hour for a person weighing 160 pounds, according to MayoClinic.com. Switching from a slower dance like the waltz to the salsa helps burn twice as much fat. Brisk walking and salsa dancing are still low-impact forms of aerobic exercise that are easy to do for most people.

Maximum Burn

Walking or dancing at high-impact levels help you burn maximum fat. According to MayoClinic.com, walking one hour on a stair treadmill reduces 657 calories for a 160-pound person. That is more than three times higher than taking a leisurely walk. Intense dancing, such as Zumba, burns 511 calories per hour for a person weighing 160 pounds.

The Conclusion

High-impact aerobic dancing, such as Zumba, burns more fat than regular walking at a rigorous pace. However, walking on the stair treadmill is a better way to shed fat than any form of dance exercise, according to MayoClinic.com. Pick your activity and determine the pace to burn the desired amount of fat.