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.