There can be so many reasons for you to start exercising. It can be for losing weight, maintaining a healthy heart, or just to stay fit. Whatever the reason is, regular exercise is the key to lead a healthier and happier life.
However, when it comes to choosing between walking and running, two of the great forms of exercise, people get confused. Both of them are excellent for cardiovascular health, which makes them no better than the other.
Depending on your health goal and your fitness level, you can choose from either a sweaty, heart-pounding run or brisk walk. But before you choose one, you need to know the difference, and which one is perfect for your particular health condition.
Walking Vs. Running – What are The Differences?
Choosing between walking and running can be challenging if you don’t know the basic differences between them. While both of them are good for your health, certain factors may help you decide which one you should go for.
Preparation & Outfit
When it comes to taking preparation and deciding what to wear, walking doesn’t require much. You can wear anything with a good pair of shoes and go for a walk.
On the other hand, you need to be quite careful about your outfit while you’re running. Your dress, as well as your shoes, have a lot of impact on the speed and effectiveness of your running.
For example, your outfit should be comfortable enough not to give you any strain. Besides, you should wear a good pair of running shoes so that you don’t get hurt.
The key difference between walking and running is the calories you’re burning in an hour. While brisk walking at a speed of 3.5 mph can burn 314 calories, running at 5 mph burns 606 calories.
It means if your ultimate goal is to shed some extra pounds, then you should start running instead of walking.
However, remember neither walking nor running alone can help you lose weight. You need to maintain a balanced diet while doing exercise to get into shape.
Both running and walking are considered excellent cardio exercises, meaning that they will improve your heart health. However, it depends on how hard you need to work and for how long.
Running requires your heart to work hard compared to walking, meaning that it will also make your heart healthy.
But, the research found that the risk level of heart disease was 9% lower for those who walk regularly than those who are inactive. On the other hand, a runner who loses the same calories as the walker has 4.5% less risk of heart disease than those who don’t run or walk.
To Decrease Belly Fat
Losing belly fat can be extremely beneficial for your overall health, even if you don’t lose any weight. However, how much fat you’re going to lose depends on the speed of your walking or running.
A study shows that high-intensity interval training or (HIIT) could help reduce visceral or active fat by 1.8%. HIIT is a type of workout where you interchange short bursts of vigorous exercises with moderate, longer physical activities.
Practicing HIIT can help make it easier for you to start running, which will eventually lead to belly fat burning.
Risks & Other Factors
While both walking and running have great health benefits, there are also some risk factors associated with them.
No doubt running can help you lose weight and belly fat faster than walking, but there’s always a high chance of getting injured if you’re not careful.
Compared to walkers, runners have high risks of exercise-related injuries. A runner has a 20% to 70% chance of getting injured where a walker has a 1% to 5% risk.
However, a runner has a lower risk of developing arthritis than a walker. A recent study shows that 53% of runners had arthritis in their knees compared to 59% of non-runners.
Whether you’re walking or running regularly, both of them come with numerous health benefits.
Based on the intensity, both of these cardio exercises help improve your stamina, mental health, improve cardiovascular health, promote weight loss, and improve the quality of your life.
According to a study published in 2006, a regular 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as walking, running, etc. for three weeks can help with anxiety and depression.
If you don’t want to exercise for 30 minutes, walking for 10 minutes, three times a day, can also improve your mental health.
Which One You Should Go For?
While you can get numerous health benefits from both running and walking, how you should start based on some factors such as your physical condition, age, as well as the reason to start.
Running will help you to lose extra pounds fast and boost your heart health. However, if you are old and have some physical problems, then running might not be the best choice for you.
Besides, the benefits of any exercise depend on how long you can stick to it. If you find running is difficult for you and you may not continue it for a longer time, you may start with a brisk walk.
Regular cardiovascular exercise at any speed is good for your health, both physically and mentally. However, you need to be regular and continue it for a longer time to get the benefits.
To get the best result, try to get at least 150 minutes weekly of regular cardio exercise. It will improve your heart health, boost your stamina, and help you to lose weight.
While all the exercises are meant to improve the quality of your life, which one is suitable for you depends on your health condition and comfort level.
If you’re new at running, start with switching between walking and running to avoid any injury. Also, consult with an expert or health instructor to determine the best exercise for you.