The Pros and Cons of Running vs Walking, For Beginners

Running vs Walking: Which is Best For Beginners?

Aerobic exercises are a vital part of cardiovascular health and a strong, healthy body.

It boosts your energy, helps you sleep better, keeps your blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control, improves your outlook on life and helps you control your weight.

This greatly reduces your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The best part is that you don't have to join a gym or buy a bunch of workout DVDs. All you have to do is walk or run.

Running and walking are free, easy-to-do aerobic exercises that any one, at any fitness level can do all year-round.

Running may be more beneficial than walking, but you have a greater chance of injury

Running may be more beneficial than walking, but you have a greater chance of injury

They are also social activities that can be enjoyed with a good friend or a whole group. But, which one is better – running or walking? Both are equally beneficial for good health. The only factor that really sets them apart is your own personal goals.

If weight loss is your goal, running will give you better results, quicker. But it is a high-impact sport, so if you have any health issues, especially joint problems, walking is less stressful on your body. Once your body becomes stronger, you can build up to a light jog and maybe even a full out run!

Enjoy Your Workout

To get the most benefits from a workout, you have to find an activity that you enjoy. Otherwise, you may not be motivated enough to do it day after day.

Wanting to lose weight and get healthy is not enough motivation for most people. But, if you really love getting outdoors and breathing in the fresh, clean air then walking and running are the perfect activities for you.

Walking means that you may have to walk farther and eat less in order to achieve your weight loss and health goals as opposed to running. On the up side, you get to spend more time enjoying the great outdoors!     

On the down side, walking doesn't burn as many calories as running. Although it is true that walking uses fat for fuel and running uses carbs, what matters the most for weight loss is the total number of calories you burn.

A 30-minute walk will only burn about 185 calories while a 30-minute run burns close to 400.

Recreational walking definitely burns less calories than running, but you can still get benefits from it

Running vs Walking: Risk of Injury?

Running has a much higher risk of injury. The repetitiveness and high impact causes stress on your knees, hips and ankles.

You should always use extra caution when starting an exercise program. Your body needs time to adjust. You may be using muscles you aren't accustomed to using.    

The surface you run on can help to reduce the risk of injury. Grass is the best, but be careful about uneven surfaces and holes or hidden objects. Earth trails and cinder tracks are the also great choices. If none of these are an option, paved trails, sidewalks or roads will do just fine.

For the best workout, try to include all of the different surfaces into your routine. The variety will work more muscles in different ways and prevent boredom. The last thing you want is a dull workout. This will drain your motivation. 

Always wear a good pair of running shoes that fit well and provide adequate support. Also remember to run using proper form and technique, and increase your mileage gradually. Trying to do too much too soon can cause serious injuries.

Balance out your health regime with a proper diet and nutritional supplements. This will give you the energy you need and help build strong muscles.

So... running vs walking? Both have significant health benefits. Choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences.

Or better yet, alternate between the two. You will get a great workout and greatly reduce the risk of injury.

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