Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Walking vs Running: Which is Better?

In the fitness world a beginner will often ask themselves 'is running better than walking?' Well, in this article I'll be discussing that age old question and the pros and cons of each.


Pros of Running

  • You get a higher calorie burn over a shorter distance
  • It can be done anywhere or anytime - hop on the treadmill or run outside
  • You can get a really high after a good run
  • You make progress really quickly

Cons of Running

  • Running can put up to 3 times more stress on your joints so is not really recommended for the overweight or people with joint problems
  • It is easier to pick up a lower body injury
  • You'll need to pick up a pair of quality running shoes


Pros of Walking

  • Walking  is easier to start with
  • Walking has a lower rate of injury, especially for those who are over weight or have an existing health condition
  • It can be done anywhere anytime - just walk out your front door or hop on the treadmill

Cons of Walking

  • You might find it too boring or easy: add hills or listen to music to switch it up
  • Progress is harder to see
  • You have to be really consistent


Either way it's all down to your preferences, goals and fitness level. Over the same distance walking and running will burn approximately the same calories it's just that walking will take more time; you you want to get more distance in the same time then running is for you. However, both are great cardio options and if done consistently with a healthy diet then you'll get fitter and even loose those extra pounds.

If you are just starting out then you must remember that it's all about intensity with both walking and running. If at first you have an increased heart rate with walking then do that until you make progress then add hills or short bursts of running. It's all about the perspective of intensity: if it's getting easy then knock it up a notch, set goals to help you along the way.

Another thing to remember with the weight loss aspect is that a 250lb person is going to burn a lot more calories than a 100lb person; that's true for walking and running. There are loads of online calculators to see how many calories you'll burn during each exercise.

All in all, it's all down to your preferences, do what you like and stick with it to see results.

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