Is Walking Better For You Than Running?

Benefits of Walking over Running 

If you prefer to walk to run, you may be wondering how the two exercises compare. Clearly, in most cases, you will cover more distance, burn more calories, and work your muscles more in the same amount of time if you go faster. High-intensity exercise, like running, also makes you fitter.

Walking and running are two of the most popular forms of exercise for all age groups. Walking is the most popular form of exercise for those over 35. Running is the most popular non-gym-related sport. Both are relatively easy to do, beneficial to your health in many ways, and free. For most able-bodied people, walking is the simplest form of exercise. 

But brisk walking is a great moderate-intensity exercise to reduce health risks, strengthen fitness, and help with weight loss. Even walking at a slower pace to get your 30 minutes of cardio each day has many benefits. It lowers the BMI and the risk of type II diabetes as well as heart disease. . It is also a powerful weapon against obesity, high blood pressure, and depression.

Thomas Jefferson said - “Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.”

The bottom line is that walking and running are great ways to get in shape. However, walking has distinct advantages that can make it more attractive or appropriate for some people. Learn about the different ways walking can be better than running below.

9 Ways Walking Is Better Than Running

1.     Fewer injuries

While running is a great form of exercise, it comes with an increased risk of injuries such as "ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, and stress fractures." Walking still carries these risks but at a much slower pace. Walking produces far fewer injuries than running - the fewer injuries of any aerobic exercise. 

Someone who walks has a lower risk of developing osteoarthritis, the breakdown of cartilage between the bones in a joint, than someone who runs regularly. Osteoarthritis is irreversible and can cause tremendous pain as the disease worsens over time. Running is more tiring than you might think. It also increases the risk of joint injuries and can put stress on the body. 

It has long been suspected that running injuries, along with the stress of long runs like marathons, can lead to changes that can lead to osteoarthritis, especially in the knees. Researchers note that up to half of all runners are affected by running injuries each year, which could lead to lasting damage.

2.     Lower impact

Runners impact the ground with three times their body weight with each step while walking only impacts 1.5 times your body weight.  This is especially important if you are overweight or already suffering from joint problems. As a low impact exercise, walking can make you feel less tired than running. Walking awakens even the smallest muscles and does not put much stress on the joints.

Walking also produces less wear and tear on your body. Yet walking is still a weight-bearing exercise that can prevent bone loss. Walking works your bones and muscles against gravity, inhibiting bone loss, and prolonged illness. Walking also protects against the risk of falls and bone fractures the running has. 

3.     Accessible and sustainable

There are many high-intensity activities, such as running or interval training, which are known to burn substantial calories in a short period of time. But not everyone can sustain these activities long enough to have a significant impact.

Walking, on the other hand, is generally durable for longer durations. For example, someone who is not comfortable running for more than five or 10 minutes may be able to maintain a brisk walking pace for 30 to 45 minutes and burn more calories in the process. Walking is fun for all ages; high impact exercises are usually more difficult in subsequent years. You don't need any special equipment other than comfortable shoes.

Since running is a more strenuous activity, running shoes are typically made with lighter materials like mesh which also promote breathability and have heavier cushioning, whereas walking shoes do not need these characteristics. However, walkers should make sure they find a pair of shoes that provide adequate arch support and stability.

Also, if walking is more comfortable, you are more likely to maintain a regular practice. Ultimately, you may be able to burn more calories with consistent, sustained walking than with sporadic, brief episodes of higher intensity exercise. 

4.     Enjoyable and social

Walkers, unlike runners, can slow down to enjoy their surroundings, take in an unusual spectacle, or grab a snack at a store or fruit tree. Runners often jog, with the intention of saving their time. Research has shown this benefit of walking to have health benefits. Moreover, walking is a fun and social activity that almost anyone can enjoy. 

You can make your daily walk a group activity, which is not possible for runners. It is not that strenuous that it interferes with your ability to speak, so walking is perfect for exercising while having in-depth conversations with friends and family. 

Spending time with friends and developing strong social bonds. . Social support from friends, family, and co-walkers has been shown to improve resilience to stress and decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Physical contact with a loved one or pet has also been shown to lower blood pressure and decrease cortisol.

5.     Stress-Reducing

Walking in natural settings like a park can help relieve stress and rumination.  You can take a stress reliever walk at any time. Brisk walking stimulates endorphins, which can lower stress hormones and ease mild depression. According to WebMD, regular walking, through the production of feel-good endorphins, can improve mood and self-esteem. Walking stimulates your brain and improves your attention and working memory, especially if you take a nature walk.

6.     Less sweaty

Walkers sweat and sweat less than runners, allowing them to exercise without needing to shower immediately afterward. In many climates, you can walk during lunch without needing a shower afterward, whereas running training will require one. You will also be less likely to get heat sickness in hot weather if you walk rather than run, although you should still take precautions to avoid overheating.

7.     No preparation or special clothing

Runners should put on their running clothes; while walkers can often walk with whatever they are wearing, with just a quick change into a comfortable pair of shoes. While you may want to wear athletic clothingfor a walking workout on the treadmill, you can also go for a healthy, brisk walk without getting ready. You can walk to work or do your daily groceries on foot while wearing comfortable shoes or sandals. This will help reduce long periods of rest which can lead to increased health risks.

8.     Walking does not require any skill.

Running is a fairly technical exercise. Many office workers have lost the ability to function effectively (effective in this case means helping reduce injuries and maximize health benefits).

Walking is a gentler form of exercise that does not require any skill. You learn to walk before you can run, as they say. And we probably don't realize how important it is to walk regularly. Our bodies demand it.

9.     Walkers never hit the wall

Long-distance runners hit the wall - burning all available fuel and feeling extreme fatigue. Walkers usually do not hit the wall on a long walk as they rely on aerobic energy sources. Walkers can refuel as they go, and their bodies have time to digest and use the fuel.

Some Health Benefits Of Walking

Research in the American Heart Association's Journal of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology compared data from two studies involving 33,060 runners and 15,045 walkers and found that for the same amount of energy expended, walkers experienced weight loss and health benefits than runners. The effects on participants, aged 18 to 80, were observed over a period of six years.

1.     Walking reduced the risk of heart disease by 9.3%, while running reduced it by 4.5%. Walking had a more potent effect on heart disease risk factors from a caloric standpoint.

2.     The risk of high cholesterol for the first time was reduced by 4.3% with running and 7% with walking. In fact, people who take cholesterol-lowering drugs can significantly reduce the dosage if they regularly walk longer each week.

3.     The risk of first-time diabetes was reduced by about 12% with both walking and running.

4.     Walking helps lower high blood pressure and cholesterol, and lowers the risk of stroke.

5.     Walking reduces longevity. Studies have shown that walking for a short time each day can extend your life.

6.     Walking has a low impact. As we'll see later, low impact exercise can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Low impact exercises are great for people with injuries, arthritis, or joint pain. High impact can help strengthen bones and muscles.

7.     Going for a walk can help reduce stress and can even be an antidote to mild depression. If your mood is bad, try a brisk walk to clear the gray clouds. It can be very effective.

Start Walking For Better Health

Set up your walking schedule to get about 30 minutes of brisk walking most, if not all, days of the week. For maximum efficiency, make a goal of walking at a moderate pace (3 to 6 miles per hour) for two miles on 5 or 6 days of the week.

Is Walking Better For You Than Running

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