Is Walking Really Better Than Running?

posted: 06/23/17
by: Kristine Boyd
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Young woman jogging outside at park. She took a break to rest. Holding her smart phone and water bottle.

We all know that running is a great form of cardio and an overall effective way to workout. However, not everyone is down for a 6-mile run every day. What if we told you that walking was just as affective, and maybe even better than running? This will vary based on each individual's fitness goals. If you are trying to burn a certain number of calories fast, running may be a more effective route. But if you are trying to maintain a healthy weight, tone, and overall feel good, then walking is going to be your new favorite workout.

Disease Prevention

Walking regularly can prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and other various conditions. It can also help strengthen your bone and muscles. Pick a trail that has a few hills and walk at a fast pace. You can even grab some 5 pound weights to help add resistance.

Easier on Your Body

Walking is also a great option for those who may have issues with running because of aches and pains. Running is extremely hard on the body and it can cause more harm than good. James O'Keefe, cardiologist and exercise enthusiast, told Prevention Magazine that, "we're not meant for sustained levels of exercise for long periods of time. After 60 minutes of intense physical activity, like running, the chambers of your heart begin to stretch and overwhelm the muscle's ability to adapt."

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Two senior African American women getting in shape together. They are jogging or power walking on a sidewalk in a residential neighborhood, talking and laughing.

Mental Health

A major benefit to walking is increased overall mental health. Walking gets your blood flowing, relieves stress and clears the mind. It can be extremely therapeutic for people to out for a peaceful walk instead of an intense run. If you want to vent about a hard day to a friend, make it a social activity! Grab a friend and go for a long walk. This is a great way to get outside and talk about those things that might be causing you stress. You will be de-stressing, exercising and socializing all in one!

So, next time you go out to dinner, to the store or work, try walking and you'll notice benefits in all aspects of your life!