Running vs Walking

imagesW0AIPL91The age-old debate over whether it is better to run or walk continues.  Of course runners think they’re totally in the know and far out class their walking counterparts.  While there is a lot of research on the topic and enough said to indicate that both activities are beneficial, it stands to reason that it all depends on what your goal is.  Recent studies on the subject allude to this as well as to the fact that those intending to lose weight are better off running over walking (The Journal of Obesity, 2012).  On the other hand, in a new study, published last month in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, walkers got the edge over runners in the area of heart disease reduction with a 4.5 decrease, while walkers saw their risk of heart disease decrease by more than 9 percent after expending the same amount of energy.

From a runner’s perspective,  I believe it is all about what one hopes to accomplish.  Lots of people and research will tell you that running places a lot more stress on the body than walking, that there is a lot more wear and tear of muscle tissue and that this reduces the average lifespan of a runner, they would be mostly right.  On the other hand, others may say that walking gets you nowhere fast.  Well, that’s debatable and entirely dependent upon your goal.  Obviously if you’re looking to lose weight, running will be the better bet as you’re likely to burn more calories during this form of exercise.  What is also interesting I have found, is that overtime, runners carry weight better.  Controlling weight is much easier according to current research on the issue and it has been found that appetite has a lot of bearing on this.  Runners are found to consume less overall than walkers.  From me to you, I think it has a lot to do with mindset.  Consider the runner who has motivated him or herself to pursue a certain path and gain a specific and desired outcome; overarching total health, such a person is far less likely to engage in unhealthy practices.  Why? Well, for one thing, running is hard work; a lot of commitment and sacrifice, one is hardly likely to wash it all away with a proverbial can of soda.  Also, I think runners are of a more competitive mindset and see their lifestyle as a continuous challenge to be met and overcome; this serves to keep them focused and on track.

People who walk on the other hand, though not necessarily as driven, are nonetheless just as goal oriented as runners.  Such enthusiasts will tell you of their dedication and commitment to the cause of walking and advise you of all its attributes which, like running, affords one a stress outlet and encourages a healthy lifestyle.  What differs are the results; calories burned, weight loss, distance covered, these are all likely to be less for the walker in the short and over the long-term.  That being said, there is a chance they’ll one day out walk runners as the rigors of marathons and ultra marathons do take a toll on the body, though I’m proud to say I know of many aged runners doing quite well.  Walking is a good place to start, if this is you, you’re on the right track and I encourage you to continue.  Who knows one day you might add a little jog in and find that it’s not so bad after all.

So what have we concluded?  Not too much I think, the debate rages on.  What we know to be true is that both running and walking are great forms of exercise that are highly beneficial.  While running may seem to have the edge over walking, I think it’s all a matter of where you’re at and where you want to go.  As a runner though, I think running rocks!  The cheetah agrees.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. myy40
    Dec 14, 2013 @ 08:41:00

    Reblogged this on myy400.


  2. fitfor365
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 16:05:57

    You summed it up nicely with “… that it all depends on what your goal is.” Is posted something very similar on the same subject,


    Apr 03, 2014 @ 02:24:12

    It’s nearly impossible to find educated people on this subject, but you sound like you know what you’re talking
    about! Thanks


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