Monday, September 28, 2020

Walking Versus Running

Recently,  I've seen a few articles stating once can get the same benefits as running but through walking.  I'd never heard that before.  I grew up hearing running was a better way to lose weight and become fitter but I've never been into running.  I'm willing to jog occasionally but not run. 

According to some, one is not better than the other as it all depends on what you need and goals.  In addition, both are excellent forms of cardiovascular exercise.  Cardio is good for the body because it helps maintain or lose weight, improves your stamina and your immune system,  strengthens your heart, and can help you live longer.  It also helps your mental health so you feel better.

Although walking and running share many of the same benefits, running actually helps burn calories at about double the rate of walking.  If a person wants to lose weight faster, running is a good way to do it but if a person can't run, walking is good.

In regard to walking, there are several different types of walking but two are good for improving fitness and helping to lose weight.  First is speed walking in which a person travels at least three miles per hour.  This pace helps increase heart rate and provides more benefits than just going for a stroll.  If a person is walking at four to five miles per hours, it is referred to as power walking which burns about the same number of calories as a runner.

There are ways to improve the benefits of walking such as changing the pace at which you walk.  For instance, walk two miles per hour for five minutes and then increase your pace to say four miles per hour for two minutes before returning to your previous pace.  This method can increase your fitness level while elevating your heart rate.  

Another way to increase results from walking is to wear a weighted vest that is no more than 5 to 10 percent of your body weight.  The weighted vest helps increase the number of calories your body burns.  If you don't have a weighted vest, carry light dumbbells as you walk as it provides the same benefits.  It is possible to perform interval walking with the dumbbells so you have our base walk and you throw in intervals of a faster pace.  

Furthermore, one can walk up and down hills to increase calorie burn.  Walking up an incline causes the body to burn as many calories as a runner.  If you are in a flat area, check out walking machines that allow you to program for a hilly incline.  Increase the incline to five percent, then 10 and finally 15 percent for the most benefit.

On the other hand, running is a high impact exercise which can be harder on the body.  Unfortunately, running can lead to stress fractures, shin splints, ITB friction syndrome.  It has been shown that while walkers suffer a 1 to 5 percent injury risk, runners have a 20 to 70 percent injury risk.  It is suggested that runners use cross training to reduce the chance of injury.

The bottom line is to do between 150 and 300 minutes of moderate exercise every week to stay fit.  I love to walk but sometimes there is too much snow or it's too cold so I have DVD's to work out inside.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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