Running - What is Better for You? Advantages and Disadvantages
running. Which one is better?
What is more beneficial?
There is often controversy
about whether or not running is more beneficial than walking.
Especially if you want to get in shape.
want to lose weight with exercise.
There are plenty of misconceptions
Let's talk about them one by one and clear this up.
Walking vs Running - Weight Loss
It's often thought that walking has similar health
benefits to running.
But without the heavy impact on
that running brings.
Even if that were true about walking, the
simple fact is that you would need to spend much more
time walking to
achieve similar weight loss and fitness
benefits as compared to running.
Now, you burn approximately as many calories
when you run
a mile or walk a mile.
However, running a mile will, of course, go faster
than walking it.
Now, doing only one mile is not helping you burn that
many calories. You'll have to build this up to two, three miles and
Check out the calories
burned calculator to work out how many calories you
burn in your running or walking workouts.
So, if you are walking and aiming for weight loss, then you do need to
make sure you have got sufficient
time available. Now, I don't want to discourage you from
walking. Not at all.
However, the potential benefits of walking, especially when
it comes to weight loss efforts, are very
often overstated. That's not because they don't exist at all.
It just takes a lot of time out of your schedule. More time than most
Having said that, if running is not possible for you, then, by
all means, walk. Walking is a great way to start running, as we discuss
later. And, if you do have sufficient time available, it will work.
One thing to consider is to get a pedometer.
They track the number of steps you take per day. It is generally
believed that doing 10,000 steps per day, at a minimum, delivers a
reasonable base for fitness. With a pedometer you can see if you are
doing enough per day and it incorporates all the steps you take in
daily life as well.
Walking vs Running - Health Benefits of Walking
Walking and running provide
health benefits. Just doing
some running or brisk walks for a few miles at a time calms,
clears, and helps to focus
the mind. It helps to reduce stress.
Cover enough distance and you'll see some benefits in weight loss.
Running has the additional benefit that it boosts your heart rate a bit more.
It provides a better boost to your cardiovascular system (heart and
blood vessels) and respiratory system (lungs).
Whatever you do, running or walking, both help you maintain a more active
lifestyle -- you don't
suffer the ill effects of the sedentary
lifestyle. Study after study proves it again and again,
movement is an absolute key to better
health and greater
Running - Injury
one of the
easiest forms of exercise
in the world, because it comes so naturally. Running also comes
naturally, but it takes an extra
on many levels that walking simply doesn't.
Walking is also great exercise for you when you haven't exactly kept up
with your working out or exercising
through the years. It is a very safe form of exercise.
When you go walking, even walking briskly, you don't
have nearly the risk of sustaining an injury
that you do if you start running again.
Some of us spend a decade or more on the couch to then start
of an ambitious running program after a wake-up call. This can often
lead to injuries.
Running puts extra stress on the lower
back and even the shoulders.
Running also puts extra stress on the knees,
and bones and tendons of the feet and
lower legs. Many
people who first get into running experience shin splints or other
overuse injuries. Shin splints are a terrible pain in the shins
brought on by the impacts of running.
are more injury-prone. About 80% of runners suffer some kind of injury
any given year. That's a lot. It's got a lot to do with stubbornness.
Continuing to run, even when you have some pain. Sticking to your
program, even when you know you need to take a day off.
But still, the statistic is there. When you run, chances are fairly
high that you may experience injuries along the way.
When you walk, even when you walk rapidly, you
just aren't going to experience the impacting pains
or the muscle pulls that you may get from
This is not to say that running is unsafe. But you need to learn to
take it easy as you start off with running, build up slowly and listen
to your body, taking rest as needed.
Running vs Walking - So What To Do?
governments provide health
They often state that you need to do thirty
minutes of vigorous exercise five times a
This type of exercise commitment makes an incredible
difference to your health, fitness and weight, not to
mention the mental benefits.
Just check out the benefits
of running page for a more complete list of
Running thirty minutes
per workout is what helps get that heart rate up
to a level where real cardiovascular strengthening happens.
This is what makes the legs
and your whole body stronger.
This level of exercise per week gives you a fair chance to experience
weight loss. Of course, when aiming for weight loss you need to combine
your exercise with a healthy diet.
You may want to check out the Running
and Weight Loss page for more info.
But... we just said that running is not safe. And yes, especially if
you haven't been much of an active person
for quite some time there is a risk you will be pushing for too much, too soon.
However, what you can do is go for a walk-run
This is taking the best of both types of exercise. The running provides
that boost to your heart and your metabolism, the walking helps to reap
the benefits of exercise and helps provide a safe base.
Instead of pushing the envelope
too much, choose a combination of walking
and running. A few examples of run/walk programs are the
running programs on this site.
Even if you have been inactive
all your life, the beginner running programs provide you with a
solution to start running. When doing run/walks you slowly increase the
time spent running and reduce the time spent running.
This provides you with some of the weight loss benefits
of running. But the build-up is slow and steady, reducing your risk of
This could be the way for you to get started with
running. A consistent build up can have you doing 15
minutes of non-stop running in 8 weeks,
20 minutes in 10 weeks or even 30 minutes in 12 weeks.
you know it, you'll be able to do this. I
know, because hundreds of people have done these running
They are free, so just try them out and see if
they work for you. I know they will!
In the end, the debate of walking vs running
may continue and continue.
Much of it ignores that you don't have to make a choice, necessarily.
You can reap the benefits of both walking and running by doing a
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