Walking and running are great forms of cardiovascular exercises that help in weight loss besides additional health benefits. If you are struggling to decide which one is best suitable for you, this article will help you. Read on to find out everything about walking and running.
Benefits Of Cardio Exercises
Let us understand the advantages of cardio workouts. Walking and running pump up your breathing and heart rate, leading to many health benefits. Here are some of them:
- Help maintain healthy body weight
- Burn calories leading to fat loss
- Boost immune system
- Improve heart health and lower cholesterol levels
- Build stamina
- Prevent diabetes and high blood pressure
- Improve mental health
- Enhance bone density and maintain joint health
Ways to Include Running And Walking In Your Fitness Regimen
Let us now find out how to get started with these exercises:
Anyone can take up walking as a daily physical activity, but you require a certain fitness level to make running a part of your fitness regimen. If you are starting to exercise or getting back into the grind after a break, it is best to start walking and gradually add running to your workout routine.
You can begin with walking slowly and then try out different variations like brisk walking at 3mph or power walking at 3-5 mph, as per your comfort. If you are walking on a treadmill, you can change the incline or try interval walking to increase your workout intensity.
Try to include strength-training exercises regularly. After this, you can progress to running. Seek a go-ahead from your doctor before adding running to your fitness regimen, as it causes much wear and tear to your muscular and skeletal system. Those suffering from joint aches and poor bone density need to avoid it. Bear in mind that since running is a high-impact exercise, you are at risk of suffering from sports injuries. Walking is a safe exercise for pregnant women, aged and critically ill patients with a heart condition or suffering from arthritis.
Note: It is advisable to train under the supervision of a qualified fitness trainer for realistic goal setting after analysing your fitness levels.
Walking Vs Running – How Many Calories Do You Burn?
Let us draw a comparison between walking and running and see which one helps burn more calories. Running is more exerting and thus burns nearly double the number of calories compared to walking. For instance, if a person who weighs 72kgs chooses to walk for 5kms, he will approximately burn 8.7 calories per minute. On the other hand, a person with the same weight burns nearly 15 calories per minute if he runs a stretch of 5kms. So, if you want to increase the calorie burn, increase the duration, intensity or mileage of your chosen activity accordingly.
Note: We calculated the number of calories burned per minute of exercise and not per km, considering body weight, the intensity of exercise, and exercise duration.
Walking Vs Running – Which One Is Better for Weight Loss?
Weight loss depends on the number of calories you burn and burning 3500 calories will help you lose half kg. Though both walking and running are excellent exercise options, if your goal is to lose weight quickly, take up running. As mentioned earlier, it helps torch more calories per minute compared to walking. The body also burns more carbohydrates while running than walking.
Walking Vs Running – Which One Is Good for Fat Loss?
Fat loss and weight loss are two different concepts often misunderstood to be the same. Weight loss can include loss of fat, water, or muscle mass, whereas fat loss is about losing trans-fats, which are harmful to the body. The latter is a healthier approach to losing weight and inculcating a fit lifestyle.
Walking and running are both excellent options to reduce trans-fat content in the body. One study suggests that walking is effective in reducing abdominal fat that most often leads to heart diseases. Running and similar high-intensity exercises may help intensify fat burn and reduce overall body fat.
Walking Vs Running – Heart Health Benefits
Doctors recommend aerobic exercises like walking and running to maintain heart health. Running is a better workout than walking in this aspect as it gives your heart rate a boost, making it work harder to pump more oxygen to the rest of the body.
However, it may not be suitable for everyone as it is hard on the joints. As mentioned earlier, running also requires a certain level of fitness while walking does not. You can opt for brisk walking to achieve your health goals without damaging your joints. Running puts more stress on joints and may result in serious injuries such as soft tissue breakage, minor fractures, and shin splints.
A calculated combination of walking and running for at least 150 minutes per week makes an excellent fitness plan. Both running and walking help in weight loss, reduce the risk of hypertension, lower cholesterol, and decrease the chances of coronary heart diseases.
Both walking and running help maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle. The best way is to combine both forms of exercise depending on your age, lifestyle, and fitness levels and build a healthy workout routine. Gradually, you can incorporate higher intensity workouts such as HIIT circuits for better and faster fat loss results and improved heart health. Eating healthy will further boost your wellness.