Not too long ago, I adopted a new workout routine.
And in preparing for this routine, I decided to go all-in on walking as my primary source of exercise.
Walking provides many benefits.
But is it really as good as running?
There is a lot of debate about whether walking or running is better for you.
People who walk will say that it’s easier on your joints and heart, while people who run will tell you that it gives them more energy and makes them feel stronger.
The truth is, both are good for you in different ways; it just depends on what your long-term fitness goals and needs are.
I wanted to get down to the bottom of this question, so I started doing some research.
Here’s what I learned.
Walking Vs Running – What You Need To Know
First off, both running and walking are excellent examples of cardiovascular exercise.
They both fit into the ‘aerobic cardiovascular’ category of exercise.
Thus, they’re both helpful for:
- Weight loss
- Increasing stamina
- Boosting the immune system
- Extending your lifespan
- Strengthening your heart
Neither is necessarily a ‘better’ option than the other.
They both offer slightly different benefits, and also pose their own slightly different downsides.
Walking: Upsides And Downsides
The main upside to walking is that it’s a low-impact exercise.
But the main downside is that it only burns about half as many calories.
If you weigh 150 pounds, and end up walking briskly at a rate of 3 mph for 1 hour, you’re going to burn approximately 210 calories.
Running: Upsides And Downsides
The biggest upside to running is that you’ll end up burning about twice as many calories as you would while walking.
Because you’re doing about twice as much work in the same time span.
If you weigh 155 pounds, and you run at a moderate pace of 6 mph for about 30 minutes, you’re going to end up burning about 372 calories.
But the downside is that you’re at a far greater risk of injury when running.
When you walk, you have approximately a 1 to 5 percent risk of getting injured.
But when you switch to running, those odds go up significantly. Runners have a 20 to 70 percent chance of getting injured while exercising.
Here’s the thing.
Both running and walking provide benefits to your health.
Which one is better?
The truth is that the one that gets you exercising the most is probably the better option.
Do you love running more? If so, that’s probably the way to go.
If you prefer to walk, then that’s probably going to be your best bet.
Of course, if you’re dealing with weak knees or some other injury, running may not be the best option. So in those cases, walking may be the best way to go.
But in either case, the most important thing to understand is this.
Whatever facilitates a better exercise routine is going to be best, because that’s what’s going to get you up, moving around, and exercising.
And that’s what leads to better health, wellness, fitness, and longevity.
So whether you choose to walk or to run, the most important thing is to just get started. Get up, get moving, and get healthy.