Walking vs. Running: Which is Better?

If you are in the look out for an answer on which is better then it all depends on your goal – what you are looking for?

If you have 30 minutes to exercise you will burn 187 calories walking 4 mph versus burning 365 calories running at 6mph. Walking may burn more fat for fuel, but running burns more total calories which will contribute to greater weight loss

  • Weight Loss:  If you target is weight loss, running wins. In a study published last month in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, and unambiguously titled “Greater Weight Loss From Running than Walking,” participants were asked about their weight, waist circumference, diets and typical weekly walking or running mileage both when they joined the study, and then again up to six years later. The runners almost uniformly were thinner than the walkers when each joined the study. And they stayed that way throughout. Over the years, the runners maintained their body mass and waistlines far better than the walkers.
  • Disease Management & Prevention: In Runners and Walkers Health Study, runners had far less risk of high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol profiles, diabetes and heart disease than their sedentary peers. But the walkers were doing even better. Running significantly reduced the risk of high blood pressure (by 4.2 percent), high cholesterol (4.3 percent), diabetes (12.1 percent) and cardiovascular heart disease (4.5 percent), for every MET h/d, which is a standard measure of metabolic energy expenditure. On the other hand, participants who walked regularly saw even better results. Walking decreased risk by 7.2 percent for high blood pressure, 7 percent for high cholesterol, 12.3 percent for diabetes and 9.3 percent for cardiovascular heart disease. The more someone walked or ran, the greater the benefit.

Appetite Control

  • Appetite Control: In a study, published last year in The Journal of Obesity, nine experienced female runners and 10 committed female walkers reported to the exercise physiology lab at the University of Wyoming on two separate occasions. On one day, the groups ran or walked on a treadmill for an hour. On the second day, they all rested for an hour. Throughout each session, researchers monitored their total energy expenditure. They also drew blood from their volunteers to check for levels of certain hormones related to appetite. After both sessions, the volunteers were set free in a room with a laden buffet and told to eat at will. The walkers turned out to be hungry, consuming about 50 calories more than they had burned during their hour long treadmill stroll. The runners, on the other hand, picked at their food, taking in almost 200 fewer calories than they had burned while running. The runners proved to have significantly higher blood levels of a hormone called peptide YY, which has been shown to suppress appetite. The walkers did not have increased peptide YY levels; their appetites remained hearty.
  • Aerobic Conditioning: Running is more rigorous than walking, so you should select a running program to maximize aerobic conditioning in minimum time. For the significantly overweight, walking can be less stressful on the body.
  • Age-related Cataract: Another study published this month from the Runners and Walkers Health Study found that runners and walkers had equally diminished risks of developing age-related cataracts compared with sedentary people, an unexpected but excellent benefit of exercise.

To sum up, just keep working toward those 10,000 steps a day – or more, if you can! Especially if you’re just started out, walking is a great, low impact way to get into a fitness regimen without risking injury. Walking is easier on your hip and knee joints. As long as your joints are aligned and you protect them with strong muscles to act as shock absorbers – and you wear great shoes! Yes, running is a great way to keep healthy



The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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