Walking vs running

5 Facts about Walking vs. Running for Exercise

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Sitting here wondering if walking has the same benefits as running or jogging. This post will list what I learn as I research the topic.

First, I will Google walking vs. running benefits and report what I learn.

Walking vs. Running Fact #1: Calories

According to Vox, running burns more calories. Duh. When you run vs. walk, it requires more energy and that energy is calories burned. Will burning more calories lead to weight loss?

Maybe, maybe not. Depends on how much you eat. Exercise is commonly thought to increase hunger (not sure if this is actually true). Does running increase your hunger more than walking? Regardless, let’s not assume that merely burning more calories is better for weight loss!

Calories in/Calories out is the formula. In the end, weight loss is about calorie deficit vs. surplus, not just how many calories you burn. You could burn 10,000 calories per day but if you eat 11,000, you’ll gain weight.

Walking vs. Running Fact #2: Injury

Running causes injuries. If you’re overweight, you almost certainly should choose walking over running due to the injury factor alone. The aforementioned article on Vox cites an amazing statistic: Half of runners get injured. All runners.

If you were to focus on overweight runners, I wonder what the stats would be? If you run, count on dealing with injuries.

Injuries sustained while walking are at 1%.

If you like to running, consider Fitness Gear Critic’s recommendations on running shoes for bad knees.

Walking vs. Running Fact #3: Efficiency

For calorie burning and cardiovascular benefits, running delivers more efficiently. For example, you get the same benefits in five minutes of running that you do in 15 minutes of walking.

If you’re already in shape, running will save you time. If you’re not in shape, running will probably waste time because it delivers twice as much ground impact to your joints. You’re gonna be laid up with an injury.

In shape? Run. Out of shape? Walk!

Walking vs. Running Fact #4: How much is too much?

The health benefits of running take a dive and become deleterious after four hours per week. Too much running is bad for your long-term health. It strains the heart.

Walking has no limits. It seems that you can walk endlessly and the health benefits only grow.

Walking vs. Running Fact #5: The Best Choice

Between walking and running – all else being equal – the best choice is the one you’re willing to do consistently. Either choice is better than couch surfing.

However, if you’re overweight, walking is better than running due to the high likelihood of injury. Even if you’re not overweight but haven’t run much, you should consider walking to protect your joints.

Perhaps the most interesting thing I have learned during the research for this post: Walking and running deliver the very same health benefits. Running is more efficient. Walking is safer.


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Georgette Andrews