For years running and walking are regarded as excellent forms of exercises. There is a lot of research talking about the benefits of running and walking. From healthier hearts to weight loss, these are clearly great exercises.
It’s so popular that even the Department of Health has stated that people should aim for at least 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate activity (half of that for vigorous activity).
But in this case it begs the question how you should get those minutes clocked in. Should you consider running over walking or vice versa?
Well arguments can be made for both camps, and honestly it boils down to your own goals. Depending on your goals, the answer will change. Below we explain.
If your goal is to maximize your calorie burning, then the ideal approach is to take up running. One of the notable differences between running and walking is the calorie burning each activity offers. For walking, an average 160 pound person can burn about 156 calories every 30 minutes. Running for the same time will burn over double that at 356 calories.
In the end running is less efficient, but more demanding for your body which causes your body to burn more per minute you are doing the activity.
Of course if the calorie burning is to help with weight loss, you will also need to consider a lot more than considering whether to run or walk. Things like diet, and other exercises play a important role too.
Improving Heart Health
Since running is more demanding it makes sense that running makes your heart work harder. Although the clear answer is running in this case, the answer really comes down to how much time you have.
Like calorie burning, if you have the time to burn the same amount of calories as running would in a shorter time, then walking could be optimal as well. For heart health, a study was conducted with runners and walkers and comparing data with heart problems amongst inactive members. For runners, the risk of cardiovascular diseases drop by 4.5 percent while walkers drop that risk by 9 percent.
Belly Fat Reduction
When it comes to belly fat you can reduce what you store in the middle by picking up your pace. As many studies have shown doing High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can provide some amazing results in burning belly fat.
HIIT training also helps immensely in easing yourself into a running regimen, making you far more likely to take up running too.
Worried About Joints
Runners are known for pounding the pavement, however running doesn’t necessarily lead a person arthritis problems down the road.
In a recent study conducted by Arthritis Care & Research found that 59 percent of non-runners have osteoarthritis in their knees compared to 53 percent in runners.
Also in a 2013 study, the National Runners’ Health conducted a study that found those who ran 1.2 miles per day had 15 percent less risk of osteoarthritis and 35 percent less risk of hip replacement compared to less active people.
So Which One Should You Go For?
Running at the end of the day is the high-intense calorie burning activity that you need. That being said walking is a fantastic way of easing into exercising and running to begin with.
At the end of the day, the important thing to consider isn’t exactly what activity you should do, but to focus on how well you can maintain it. Furthermore what sort of goals you have and where your current skills are at too.
With this in mind stick with the exercise that you know you can stay committed to against all odds, whether it’s walking or running.