Contributed by: Anjali Sharma
Most of us base our entire fitness strategy on a gym membership. We believe it is clear that a gym includes all the equipment and free weights necessary for general health improvement, muscle building and weight loss.
However, most of us don’t know that both walking and running have similar benefits. Both offer great benefits for both physical and mental health.
Both walking and running are good exercises for heart health and weight loss. The benefits and dangers vary depending on a person’s goals and current state of fitness and health.
While both can help you lose weight, burn calories, and reduce your chances of heart disease, there is a serious debate about which is better.
Running vs. Walking: Some Health Benefits
Cardio is another name for cardiovascular exercise or activity. It often engages the body’s primary muscle groups, making the heart beat faster and breathing faster.
Cardio exercises include both running and walking. Cardiovascular exercise has several positive health effects.
- Burning fat and calories leads to weight loss
- Managing or preventing diseases including high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease Cholesterol
- Improving heart health and sleep habits
- Reduce stress and increase endurance
- Improve psychological well-being by reducing anxiety and depression
- Improve bone density
- Improve immunity
One study looked at the benefits of exercise for mental health and found that along with its other health benefits, 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, was enough to reduce anxiety and sadness.
Running vs. Walking: Which Improves Heart Health?
Both running and walking are beneficial for weight loss, mental well-being, and physical health.
According to a study published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, walking and running reduce the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease and diabetes.
According to another study by the American Heart Association, brisk walking for at least 150 minutes per week reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
So, according to the conclusion of the above research, it can be said that walking helps improve cardiovascular health.
Running vs Walking: Which is Better for Burning Calories?
Running burns more calories than walking, yet both activities are beneficial to your health.
The American Council on Exercise estimates that a 72 kg person will burn about 15.1 calories per minute while jogging. A person of the same weight burns 8.7 calories per minute while walking.
Both running and walking burn calories depending on different variables, eg
- Body weight exercise duration
- Activity intensity level
- Compared to walking, running burns more calories per minute. However, by walking for longer periods of time, walkers can still burn the same number of calories.
Walking and running can still provide similar benefits based on a person’s goals.
Running vs Walking: Which to Choose to Lose Belly Fat?
According to research, having a lot of belly fat increases your chances of developing conditions including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Exercise can help a person lose belly fat be it running or walking.
According to health research, regular aerobic activity, such as walking, reduces belly fat and helps control obesity.
Depending on the intensity of the activity, walking and running can also help reduce belly fat.
Running, however, can make losing belly fat more successful and faster.
High-intensity training had a greater effect on overall body fat loss while low-intensity exercise was more successful in reducing abdominal fat.
Those looking to lose belly fat should consider consulting a doctor, who can advise on the best diet and exercise regimen for their needs.
How much walking a day is good for your heart?
Walking offers many health benefits, poses few hazards, and is a low-impact, moderate-intensity activity. The CDC recommends that most people strive for 10,000 steps per day as a result. This equates to about 8 kilometers or 5 miles for most people.
The average person walks only 3,000 to 4,000 steps or 1.5 to 2 miles a day. Many people are not focusing on the number of steps per day to improve their health, since doctors often consider anyone who takes less than 5,000 steps per day to be inactive.
Remember the benefits and risks
Running and walking can improve heart health and provide many other health benefits, but they also carry some potential dangers.
Running carries a higher risk of injury than walking. This is because running is more strenuous and especially puts stress on the body’s joints.
According to research, runners are more likely to get injured than walkers.
Some of the most frequent injuries associated with running are as follows:
- Soft tissue injury
- Ankle sprains
It is important for runners to take precautions while jogging or running to reduce their chances of injury.
Walking offers the same health benefits as running but with less chance of injury, so if someone is concerned about getting injured while running, they may choose to walk instead.
Anyone with arthritis, heart disease, or other ongoing medical problems and considering jogging should talk to their doctor first and get prior instructions about the workout.
Both running and walking are suitable exercises depending on a person’s goals. Both can help them maintain a healthy weight while improving their cardiac, mental and other well-being.
Regardless of the type of exercise a person chooses, frequent participation will have beneficial effects.
Walking can be a good option for people to start their fitness journey as it requires low to moderate intensity. Running can be a good option for those who want to burn more calories.
It’s a good idea to start with some physical activity, whether it’s running or walking, it will benefit you endlessly in mental and physical aspects.
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