Walking Vs. Running?

As we all know, exercising and being physically active plays an important role in having better mental and physical health.   Pre-pandemic it was easy to hit the gym and get the necessary workout done. These days with the inconsistency of the gyms being open and closed, there has to be an easier way to be active and be able to get the optimal level of exercise in!!

When it comes down to hitting the road or treadmill, what is better?  A long walk or a short run? Let me tell you something after reading a few articles from myfitnesspal and goodlife fitness blogs- both of these activities are beneficial if done consistently and progressed gradually. Both walking and running help to have positive effects on your blood pressure, endurance, body composition, sleep quality and mental health. 

If you want to shed some extra pounds or maintain current health- running is a good choice.  It is best if you do not have any aches or pains in any of your weight-bearing joints.  Running is also a good choice if you do not have enough time to be active.  According to the article in goodlife “You can burn 200 calories running at 6 miles an hour for 10 minutes, compared to a brisk walk for an hour that will burn you 300.” 

“I prefer running as the better option for working out, mainly because you can make better use of your time by burning more calories in a shorter amount of time,” says Melissa Welsh, a NASM-certified personal trainer based in Fairbanks, Alaska. “However, it’s not for everyone, and walking is a great alternative if you’re not able to run for any reason.”

Walking is mostly taken for granted as it is easy and can be done anytime and anywhere.   Walking is also a good choice if you have any aches or pains in your knees, ankles, hips or back, or if you have been sedentary and want to get started with some form of physical activity and get the heart rate up.   As walking is less rigorous, you can cover more distance and get the calories burning. If your goal is to get more calories burn, try interval walking or walking on different terrain. 

Both of these activities are beneficial and they can be combined as well.  Runners can benefit from occasional walking in their cross training. And walkers can try to jog or do some interval running to get better endurance and burn more calories.

A lot of people will track their progress in terms of distance walked or run, number of times per week, their times, etc.  Apps like Map My Run or Map My Walk are good trackers to use.  Some people even set a SMART goal (S- specific, M- measurable, A- Attainable, R- realistic, T- Time bound) as something to work towards.  

Lastly, choose either walking or running or a mixture of both!   Remember to be consistent, find a friend to join you (Accountability partner) and most of all HAVE FUN!