There’s a long-standing debate over which exercise is best for your body: running vs. walking. Surprisingly, there’s a lot of research that’s gone into this debate and, depending on your point of view, there’s no clear winner. Both exercises are good for your body and they both beat doing no exercise at all. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of running vs. walking.
The Pros: Running burns about 2.5 times more calories than walking. Some new research has shown that running also curbs appetite more than walking, since runners tend to eat less overall than walkers.
The Cons: Running at high speeds or for long distances may put a toll on your body. Runners are more at risk for injury than walkers, and injuries like runner’s knee, pulled hamstrings, shin splints, or twisted ankles can take a long time to heal.
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The Pros: Walking provides many health benefits and is the most convenient exercise you can do. You can walk inside or outside. Walking is a low-impact exercise, meaning your risk of injury is not nearly that of running. Walking provides a risk reduction for hypertension that is equal to that of running.
The Cons: Most people walk at some point during the day, whether it be to get the mail or to go grocery shopping. Because of this, some people have a hard time thinking of walking as a physical activity or consider it just plain boring.
Whether you’re a die-hard runner or a long-term walker, you’re providing health benefits for your body far beyond those who choose to sit on their sofas and do nothing.
Consult your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program.