Walking vs Running:
Which is Better?

Walking vs Running: Which is Better?

Walking and running both provide tremendous health benefits, but which one is better for your body?

Technically, walking is better because there is less impact on your feet, ankles and legs, which means less risk of injury. But, for heart and lung health, and for losing weight, running is better.

Running is like a fast track to good health and a strong body. As with many destinations in life, walking will get you there, but running will get you there much quicker.

However, a strong healthy body is not a destination. At least, it shouldn't be. It can start out that way, in health and fitness circles commonly called a "goal," but once you reach it, you have to keep on going.

Your body is the most complicated system in the world. It needs constant maintenance. It is not one of those 'set and forget it' type of creations.

Luckily, maintaining good health is very easy. Once you trade in your bad habits for good ones, staying strong and healthy becomes second nature.

So, what is this great debate about walking vs running? Let's take a closer look.

Is running better for you than walking, or should you walk instead of running?

Burning Calories

Obviously, running takes more energy, so you will burn about 2.5 percent more calories than you will with walking.

Running also uses more muscles and puts more pressure on your lungs and heart, which means that you can improve your overall health quicker.

Forget about "cheat days." Just about every diet allows for one day a week or month where you can eat anything you like and forget about your exercises.

Of course, we all love treats and rewards, but if you really want to be healthy and live a clean lifestyle, why cheat? You are only cheating yourself.

Is a 1000 calorie treat and a day on the couch worth the effort you have been putting in all week? We aren't just talking about calories, though. You have to think about your overall health. What will this "treat" do to your arteries? Or your liver, heart or lungs?

There are many healthy choices that can provide the reward you deserve without all of the health risks associated with traditional treats.

The most important factor about calories is not the number, but the nutritional value. For example, a 70 calorie piece of chocolate vs a 70 calorie apple – which do you think is better for your health?

They both contain natural sugar (if you have high-quality chocolate). Each one tastes great. But, one will give you a burst of energy that will leave you depleted within an hour, and the other will feed your vital organs with important nutrients.

Forget about counting calories, and even about burning calories. Concentrate on consuming high quality calories that will help promote good health and help you achieve your goals.

Leisurely walking may be almost as good for you as running. Either is much better than doing nothing!

Health Benefits of Walking vs Running

Walking might not burn as many calories as running, but the health benefits are pretty much equal. However, you may have to walk a few more miles than a runner has to run in order to achieve these results.

An alternative to walking longer distances is carrying weights. By carrying weights, your arm and leg muscles have to work harder, without the extra impact of running.

Walking has to be done at a brisk pace to get your heart pumping, but stay within your abilities. If you are huffing and puffing, slow down until your fitness level improves.

Over time, you will find you have more energy and are able to walk greater distances without feeling as tired.

Walking and running are both great ways to improve your health and stay fit. Running is higher impact, therefore puts more strain on your ankles and feet, so might not be the best choice for everyone.

Runners also incur more injuries than people that stick to walking.

In the debate of walking vs running, there really isn't a winner. Both are great.

It really depends on the person. Just remember to wear comfortable shoes and clothing, and never run without warming up your muscles – this isn't as important for walkers, but it certainly doesn't hurt.

Also remember to relax after a workout with yoga or stretching exercises to keep your muscles flexible.

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