Walking and running are two popular cardio exercises that share a lot of similarities but also have some key differences. Let’s compare walking vs running side by side to help you find the most suitable exercise for you.
1: Joint Impact
One of the most notable differences between walking and running is the impact they have on your joints. Walking is a very gentle exercise that places little pressure on your ankles, hips and knees and is suitable even if you suffer from arthritis, back pain or hip problems. Running places a lot more pressure on your joints and is something you should avoid if you suffer from a pre-existing joint problem.
If you want to lose weight rapidly, running is a much better choice than walking. Running blasts through up to 1,000 calories per hour while walking uses up just 240 calories per hour. This means that by running you can burn body fat more than 4 times faster than if you stick to just walking. [Note: All calorie calculations are based on a 150 lb person.]
Running is a difficult, challenging exercise that will test your fitness to its limits. This makes it a great choice if you have some fitness experience and enjoy pushing yourself to perform at your peak. However, if you’re a beginner or someone who doesn’t enjoy intense physical activity, running may not be for you.
Walking is a much lighter exercise and doesn’t require you to push past your comfort zone. This makes it a perfect option if your current level of fitness isn’t very high or you prefer to exercise at a slower pace. It also makes walking much more accessible than running.
4: Injury Risk
Due to the larger amount of pressure that running places on your joints and your body, it does carry a larger injury risk than walking. Ankle sprains, ankle twists, back pain and shin splints are all much more likely to be caused by running than walking. However, by wearing a good pair of running shoes, making sure that you let your body rest when you need it and stretching on a daily basis, you can reduce your risk of these injuries.
Both Offer Great Health Benefits
Both running and walking can protect against a range of chronic diseases including cancer and diabetes. They also help to lower your blood pressure, regulate your blood cholesterol levels, strengthen your bones and improves sleep cycles. In addition to this, walking and running both provide you with an opportunity to get outside, enjoy the fresh air and top up your vitamin D levels.
Walking vs Running … So Which Is Right For You?
Walking and running offer great workouts. Both options are fun, accessible exercises that will keep you fit and enhance your quality of life in numerous ways. If you’re still not sure which one you should start with, consult your healthcare provider.