Should You Run or Walk to Lose Weight?

Walking and jogging, both methods are used by different people to keep fit and lose weight. It’s not always easy to know which of these two methods to choose, as there is a lot of information available, that either discredits or supports both walking and jogging.

Walking and jogging are both aerobic exercises, meaning you can burn calories using both of them and also improve cardiovascular health. Due to their aerobic nature, they strengthen your endurance thus conditioning you for strenuous activities. For instance, if you want to participate in a marathon in the near future, walking and jogging are great ways to prepare yourself.

So how do you know which of these two exercises to choose when you want to lose weight?


The Question of Calories

Calories are energy stored in your body’s cells. Any time you take part in any activity, you burn calories. You even burn calories when in a resting state. There are factors that could predispose you to burn more or less calories than other people. These factors include gender, body weight, genetic factors and hormones.

When you run, you burn double or more calories for every mile, than you would when walking. The reason for this is the amount of exertion required to perform the two activities. You exert yourself more when running than when walking, hence you will burn more calories by running. Of course, other factors such as speed will affect your results.

If you can’t run due to health reasons, you should not give up on exercising but take up walking instead. There are calculators for measuring caloric burn when performing certain activities. Some exercise machines can also do this for you. Use these formulas, tools and calculators to estimate how much you will burn walking per mile and simply increase miles walked to get the same kind of caloric burn you would get if you were running.

Effects of Running and Walking On Your Body

You are more likely to suffer from joint injury as a result of running. This is because your feet touch the ground with more impact. People who run frequently have been known to suffer from fractures, knee injuries, tendonitis, sore feet, sprains and groin injuries. Such injuries can take a long time to heal and some, like knee injuries, could have long-term effects.

On the other hand, it’s highly unlikely to suffer from any of these injuries while walking. In fact, walking is recommended for treating some of the injuries related to running.

Take a Holistic Approach to Weight Loss

The main objective for you should be to understand how weight loss happens, and as discussed above, losing weight is all about achieving caloric burn. You burn calories through activity and both walking and running qualify as activity.

But weight loss should not be all about exercise but diet as well. Your meals should be balanced and include large portions of vegetables and fruits. For long term benefits, eating a balanced meal should be a lifestyle as opposed to what you do when you want to lose weight.

By all means, you should avoid going on a diet in order to lose weight. If you go on a diet, your body will react by holding on to all the energy it has (usually in the form of fat) and you will not experience any weight loss either by running or walking.

Bottom line

At the end of the day, your choice between running and walking will depend on whether you are patient enough to build cardiovascular strength for a longer time. It also depends on what kind of exercise you feel suits you better.



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