• Brittany Shafsky

Walking vs Running: Which Should You Do?

Do you prefer to walk or run? Most of us have a preference.

Walking and running are activities that are open to anyone and require very little investment.  Both are great cardiovascular workouts.

By definition, the primary difference between walking and running is if you have both feet on the ground at the same time or not.  That seems a bit confusing but think about it!

Walking:  you move at a regular pace by lifting and setting down each foot in turn, never having both feet off the ground at once.

Running: you move at a speed faster than a walk, never having both or all the feet on the ground at the same time.

While running is by definition faster than walking - there is no minimum speed a person has to achieve.  One person’s walking speed can be the same as another person’s running speed.  

When it comes to calorie burn - walking a mile vs running a mile burns about the same amount of calories. However, running takes less time. According to the American Council on Exercise, a 140 lb person would burn about 13.2 calories a minute by running and that same person would burn about 7.6 calories a minute by walking. Using those calculations a 30-minute run would burn 396 calories while a walk would burn 228 calories.

Keep in mind though, that both burn a good chunk of calories and both are great exercises! Sometimes it's not only about which exercise will burn more calories but which exercise brings you joy and you will consistently do. If you will only run maybe 1 time a week for 30 minutes because you don't enjoy doing it or it causes too much pain, but will consistently take a 30-minute brisk walk each day, it's better if you walk.

Walking is a low impact activity.  Running is considered a high impact.  If you have injuries or health concerns, opt for walking.

Whether you choose walking or running, both exercises have some tremendous health benefits!

Both activities can:

1) Lower blood pressure

2) Reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety

3) Reduce the risk of heart disease

4) Improve the mood

5) Help reduce risk and aids with the management of type 2 diabetes 

6) Help reduce weight or maintain a healthy weight

7) Boost your immune system

The choice is yours. Pick the option that brings you joy! Do it alone or with a group.  Take charge of your health!

If you want to read more on running vs walking here were a few additional articles.

How Many Calories Do You Really Burn Running vs Walking? by Runner's World

Which is Better for Your Health: Running or Walking? by HealthLine How Many Calories Can I Burn While Walking vs Running? by Women's Health Magazine

This article was co-written by Sara Barber and Brittany Shafsky. Sara loves running and Brittany would prefer to save running for emergencies.

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