Running vs. Walking – Which One Should You Choose?

Whether you’re running in the park or walking briskly in your backyard, both routines are good ways to burn calories and engage muscles. While you can take up either activity or even alternate between the two, athletes often wonder – which exercise offers the most benefits?

Running is an excellent cardio workout. It improves your heart rate considerably and allows your body to sweat. Sweating is key to weight loss. However, running is a high impact exercise that can tax your knees in a bad way if you’re not careful. Walking, on the other hand, is a low impact exercise that alleviates your heart beat and gently activates your muscles.

Though both exercises are great ways to get yourself moving, each comes with its own set of pros and cons.

There is no complicated science behind weight loss. The harder you work, the more weight you’ll lose. Although walking allows the body to burn the highest percentage of energy, most fitness enthusiasts are concerned with the amount of calories burnt rather than the percentage. If you are keen on counting calories and exhausting them accordingly, running is an excellent means to achieve your fitness goals. 

That being said, walking and running make up an integral part of any fitness routine. Walking daily and running occasionally can provide you with many benefits, including weight loss and improved heart and lung health. While many fitness enthusiasts would like to put both workout styles to the test and see which one is more effective, it is a matter of personal preference. While some people love long, relaxing strolls in the evening, others enjoy a quick jog through their neighborhood park.

Consider what you are inherently good at doing and then assess your fitness goals. If you are looking to maximize impact, pair your runs and walks with some resistance exercises. This way, you’ll maximize the impact of your routine by burning fat and simultaneously developing lean mass.

Walking

Walking comes with the following set of benefits:

  • Excellent low impact workout.
  • An ideal way to initiate your fitness goals by alternating short intervals of walking and running.
  • You are tired of commuting in the car and want to shake your body. Get out of the car and consider taking 10,000 steps daily.

Running

Running, on the other hand, comes with the following perks:

  • You want to lose weight and quickly. Running burns calories very fast.
  • Best to add more intensity to your workout. Running makes the lungs inflate to their fullest capacity.
  • You want to train for a marathon.
  • Excellent for getting quick results in limited time.
  • Looking to get a rewarding feeling post-workout? Consider a quick run to get your endorphins kicking.
  • Combat the stress by taking an enjoyable run that would keep your mind engaged and give you added health perks.

If you are confused about whether you should commit to walking or simply stick to running, first examine your fitness goals and adopt the workout that aligns with your routine and temperament. You can get the most from walking by wearing a weighted vest, carrying extra weight, walking uphill or adding short intervals of running to your walking routine.