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Walking vs. Running

January 11, 2013

By Tiana Yom

Walking vs. Running

Is one better than the other?

Walking is a low-impact exercise. You use significantly less force as your foot meets the ground than higher impact exercises. Walking doesn’t require as much energy and oxygen as other higher impact aerobic exercises, so your heart rate is relatively low when walking.

When you walk, think about standing as tall as possible, lifting the base of the skull to the sky and not the chin. Your chest should be lifted and your jaw should be relaxed. Allow the heel of each step to fall just in front of the toe of the previous step. This will give you a much smaller, faster stride.

Walking is an easy, good form of exercise, and can be done anywhere at any time. But you have to walk fast enough to gain the full cardiovascular benefits of exercise.

Running is a high impact exercise. Your body requires much more energy and oxygen than walking, so your heart rate will be higher when running. You can wear a heart rate monitor to know exactly what your heart rate is while exercising.

Walking may burn more ‘fat for fuel,’ but running burns more total calories, which contributes to greater weight loss. Both promote weight loss, improve your sleep, boost your energy level, and decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

From my own personal weight loss journey, one was not better than the other; however, I find that combining the two forms of exercise works best: walking loosens the muscles in your legs and prepares you for your run the next day; running increases your fitness and allows you to walk faster on your walking days — allowing you to gain fitness and burn more calories.

Do you walk or run? Tell us what activity you do daily!

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