To Run or not to Run

You pull on your sneakers, grab your music, and you start to run. You feel great, and then you pass someone who is also exercising, but they are walking. Which one is better? They both get you moving, but is running really the better option for you, or should you be walking?

Whether you run or walk, you have to take into consideration 3 things to succeed: how intense the workout is, how long it is, and how often you are working out. Here are some other things to consider:

  • Benefits. Both running and walking as a form of exercise can help you lose weight, improve your cardiovascular health, help your cholesterol, your blood sugar, help with your mood, and help you have an overall wellness.
  • Time. To get the same end result, you must equal the amount of work you put into exercising. That means if you walk, you walk longer and more often than when you run. If you run, you can get by with shorter workout periods and burn about the same amount of calories as when you walk.
  • Injury and Repair. Running is harder on your joints, since your body has to absorb more impact than when you walk, so walking can be better for those with joint problems. Also, running (and walking too) can lead to different knee, hamstring, feet, and shin injuries if you aren’t careful.

The difference between running and walking isn’t how fast you are going. According to Harvard, when you walk, you have a foot on the ground at all times. When you run, you aren’t keeping a foot on the ground; in fact, you are airborne for a small amount of time during each stride you take. According to American Heart Association, walking as an exercise has the lowest dropout rate of all the types of exercise. Both types of exercising are free to do, and gets your body in action. You know what is best for your body, and what will work with your schedule. You can talk with your physician if you aren’t sure what exercise program would be best for you.