If losing a few pounds is on your health to-do list, you’re likely getting ready to lace up those trainers and pound the pavement. While running is an obvious exercise to burn those extra calories, some people swear by walking to help them shed those inches. So which is it? Is running better than walking for weight loss?
Well, as it turns out, there’s no clear cut answer. While both walking and running are undeniably good for you, there are observable differences between these two activities. We’ve looked at the research to help decipher the health benefits and effectiveness for weight loss in both the long and short term.
Running Burns More Calories
We know that successful weight loss comes down to expending more calories than you consume, and it’s clear that running burns more calories than walking. In fact, running will burn twice as many calories in the same amount of time as walking. This means that if you’re squeezing a workout into your schedule, a run will be more effective than a walk for short-term weight loss.
And as well as being a calorie-burner, running also has a positive effect on overall fitness and strength. Over time, running builds up cardiovascular strength and helps reduce the risk of heart disease later in life. Even five to ten minutes per day of jogging at around six miles per hour can reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and other causes.
So, is running better than walking for weight loss? On a purely caloric and fitness level, yes, but there is so much more than that when it comes to creating and sticking to a weight loss plan.
Walking Is Less Horrible
Let’s face it, starting a new exercise routine is hard. The more you dread it, the more likely you are to skip a workout and delay seeing results. If you’re not already a runner, the thought of going for a jog can be incredibly daunting, especially if your starting fitness isn’t great.
If running, or even the thought of running, is difficult for you, walking may be a much more approachable option. Once regular walks become a fixture in your week, you can then start to add in spurts of running, or alternate between runs and walks throughout the week. In fact, this is a great tactic for anyone who is looking to slowly build up their strength and fitness while reducing the risk of injury that a new workout regimen can bring.
Building a weight loss routine that works for you is all about being honest with your current level of fitness, goals, and ability. If you’re asking yourself if running is better than walking for weight loss, remember that a walk you do is better than a run you don’t.
Running vs. Walking in the Long Term
While running is better than walking for weight loss at face value, walking can’t be understated as a better option for some cases in the long term. The reality is that running comes with a much higher risk of injury, compared to the very low risk that comes with walking. More than half of runners will get at least one running-related injury, while only a single percent of walkers will get hurt.
This is also important to remember if you have any previous injuries or pre-existing troubles, as walking may be a much safer option for your joints and tendons. In fact, the low-impact nature of walking can make it a better option than running for individuals with various health concerns such as arthritis, asthma, or pregnancy.
So is running better than walking for weight loss in the long term? Not necessarily! The calorie burning effects of walking over time can be just as beneficial to weight loss as running when combined with a calorie-controlled diet. And because walking puts notably less stress on the body, it can be considered a safer, more sustainable method of exercise for those with health conditions, injuries, or who just prefer low-impact exercise.
Enjoy Healthy Exercise and Look Great While You Do
So, is running better for weight loss than walking? Well, the truth is that they’re both great options. Sticking to a weight loss plan often comes down to whether your workouts fit into a safe, healthy lifestyle that you enjoy. Whether the thrill of running sparks joy or you’re more drawn to the moderation that walking provides, the most important thing is to just get out there and do it. In time, you’ll find what works best for you and your body.And as you embark on your weight loss and fitness journey, it’s important to have the right active gear to support you along the way. Fitsok creates socks that are specifically designed to keep your feet dry, supported, and comfortable, whether you’re walking or running. From a gentle stroll to marathon training, Fitsok products are engineered to help you achieve your fitness goals from the ground up.