Walking, or Running – Which will Give you More?

by Maria on January 3, 2014

Running and walking are both excellent aerobic exercises which help promote weight loss, relieve stress, improve your sleep, elevate your mood, boost your energy level, help detoxify your body, decrease blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, and the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease as well.

However, beyond the parallel benefits, there are times, when one is better than the other.

What are the Undeniable Advantages to Running vs. Walking?

Is it a case of “more pain, more gain”?

Well, research suggests that:

  1. In terms of weight loss, running wins hands down. The fact is, it provides maximum aerobic conditioning in minimum time.  In general, you have to walk nearly an hour, to get a similar weight-loss benefit to a half hour of running.
  2. Because running is more intense, the general health benefits are higher.
  3. Vigorous exercise stimulates more “after burn” than moderate exercise.
  4. Post-exercise appetite suppression is greater after vigorous exercise.
  5. Running burns more total calories which will contribute to greater weight loss.
  6. The higher intensity of running requires intense mental focus which translates to greater brain activity, which enhances your decision-making ability, and consequently, helps you make better dietary choices, and your determination to stick to your weight loss plan.
  7. Also, running has a tendency to make you start viewing food more as a source of fuel, than simply as pleasure.
  8. Running requires the body to prioritize sending oxygenated blood to the muscles and improves your cardiovascular health.

What are the Disadvantages to Running vs. Walking?

1. Since it is considered high impact exercise, and because of its repetitive nature, there is a risk of it causing injury to the hip, knee and ankle joints.

2. It not only burns fat, but also muscle tissue.

3. Running in hot weather can lead to heat stroke.

Advantages to Walking vs. Running

Experts suggest that moderate exercise, such as walking, is one of the best ways to stay healthy and lose weight, and can be as effective as intense workouts. Furthermore, they insist that intensity is not the main factor impacting long-term weight loss and health. In particular:

  1. Walking may burn more fat for fuel.
  2. It is a low impact activity, causes less injury, and is considered potentially less stressful on the body, and less damaging to the joints.
  3. By engaging in less strenuous activities, such as walking 30 minutes to 60 minutes five days a week, people may be more likely to continue exercising.
  4. A brisk walk is a good exercise for :
  • People with health problems;
  • Significantly overweight people;
  • Those who are just starting to work out, or those who want to slowly build up to running.

Conclusion

Walk, or run for weight loss and health?

In order to get any benefit from a work out, choose the one that you enjoy, and best meets your needs, and preferences, and do it regularly. According to fitness experts, it does not have to be all at once – an exercise program of three, or four 15-minute blocks through the day can do a lot of good!

And more to the point, find your level, set your goals, and then build up slowly, and the benefits in weight loss and general health will come.  It’s clear, that as a walker, you might have to walk a little more, or eat a little less to achieve your weight goal vs. running.

Finally, to lose weight fast, reduce your current level of intake by 500 to 1,000 calories per day, and exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day. As a result, the weight loss will be around two pounds per week, on average.

Sounds like a perfect healthy weight loss plan to me! 🙂

What do you think? Tell us below.

 

 

 

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