Running is a great exercise; it accelerates heartbeat a lot faster and expends a lot more calories than just walking. But then, like everything good, running has its own drawbacks. Could walking really be a better exercise? Let us find out…
Today, we hear that exercising regularly is the only way to stave off obesity related diseases. And for most people, the question boils down to this – Is walking enough? Or do they need to start running in order to burn more calories? At University of Melbourne, the Department of Physiology conducted a simple experiment to find the answer to this question. Let us take a look at the results, which were gathered:
1. Weight Loss – Weight loss boils down to calories expended. The study revealed that running expends twice as many calories as walking in the same time. Simply put, to burn the same number of calories a runner burns in half an hour, a walker will have to brisk walk for 1 hour.
2. Injury – Though running will make you burn twice as many calories, it has a deeper impact on your joints and causes more wear and tear. The study saw that as compared to walking, running increased risk to injury three times and is not a great idea for those who are either overweight or have cardiovascular problems.
When walking, a person always has one foot in contact with the ground, which distributed workload evenly.
3. Training – Walking is something anyone and everyone can begin right away. However, running does require more practice and is tougher to excel at. A beginner will need to start slowly and work his/her way up by increasing distance and speed gradually.
4. Health Benefits – It has been noticed that running can suppress the immune system, which increases the risk to diseases. Scientists all over the world believe that walking is more health from a disease point of view; walkers are less prone to falling sick as compared to both runners and those with a sedentary lifestyle.
5. Heart Health – Most runners take their exercise seriously because it helps fight high blood pressure, high cholesterol reduces risk to diabetes and sheds weight a lot faster. However, study has shown that women who brisk walk for 3 hours a week (or 30 minutes for 6 days a week) enjoy the same heart health benefits as those who ran 90 minutes a week (or 3 times a week for 30 minutes).
6. Altering Mood – For beginners who are not accustomed to running, sudden exertion caused by running can also be the reason for stress and anxiety. However, it is also true, that in the long term running will make a person resilient to depression and stress because a higher number of endorphins released in the body. But that will only happen once you can run for 30 minutes effortlessly and are not struggling to improve your technique, which is unavoidable in the beginning at least.
Experts believe that moderate exercises have shown to be more effective when it comes to alleviating stress and anxiety, and a single walking session for 40 minutes reduces tension levels as effectively as a tranquilizer.
7. Back Strengthening – Since running is a higher impact exercise, it puts a lot more stress on the spine and can even increase the risk of lower back pain. This is seem more commonly in runners who have poor firm and are not using the right technique. If you have poor core stability and limited flexibility, walking is a better exercise for you.
So you see, the choice between Walking and Running is a very personal choice, and the final answer of which one is better for you depends not on the effectiveness of the exercise, but on your age, fitness levels and personal goals.