While it is common knowledge that running is a great way to stay in shape, walking is also great exercise. Some people often dismiss walking but the truth of the matter is that walking is just as beneficial as a form of exercise. Particularly for the elderly or those who have suffered an injury, walking on a regular basis is a great way to stay in shape.
So which is better, running or walking? While running is a more rigorous exercise, you are also more apt to injure yourself. It might be hard to get your heart rate up while walking but it doesn’t put undue pressure or strain on your body. So how does one decide?
Which exercise is best for someone who is serious about getting into shape?
The Final Verdict
The truth is that both are great exercise routines to follow and for those who are wondering which to choose, the answer is to do both. By alternating between running and walking you give your body a much-needed rest at regular intervals. It can also give you a refreshing change once in a while and for those who are cross training, walking is an excellent work-out option.
First time runners are often encouraged to start off with interval training, which involves both walking and jogging. In this way, beginner runners are able to become familiar with a steady pace before they pick up the speed. If a runner starts feeling winded or fatigued during a run, they always slow down to a steady walk, taking the time to catch their breath without completely losing momentum. By walking, they are able to catch their breath while they exercise. Moderate exercise like walking is also great for boosting your nitric oxide levels and overall health.
Many people automatically assume that running burns more calories than walking, simply because you are moving faster. However, when it comes to walking it is a good idea to remember the old story about the Tortoise and the Hare. While runners do tend to burn more calories, a walker who maintains a quick and steady walking pace will also burn just as many calories. In fact, an interesting study at Duke University revealed that the weight loss of runners and walkers was almost identical.
Walking is a very effective option for people who suffer from joint or muscle pain since runners have a greater risk of getting injured than walkers. While runners definitely burn calories quicker, walkers also burn calories and can maintain a healthy and well-toned body.
The final verdict is that both walking and running are needed for good health. For those who can manage both, it is a good idea to incorporate them into your training schedules. Just because walkers seem to be moving slower does not mean they aren’t burning calories or working up a sweat.
Burning fat and blasting calories should be the first on the list of things to do. The best way to do that is to choose a cardiovascular workout that you can do, and commit to doing it every day. Exercise machines have come a long way and can be a great place to start.