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Is Walking As Good A Workout As Running?

There are many reasons why people start running: to stay slim, boost energy, or snag that treadmill next to our longtime gym crush (please follow ourgym etiquette tipsbefore making any moves though!).Running can help keep the heart healthy, improve mood, andstave off sickness; plus recent studies have found running is a great way to lose and maintain weight [1] [2].But research suggests going full speed isnt the only route to good health[1] [3].

Now Walk (or Run?) It Out The Need-to-Know

While walking can provide many of the same health benefits associated with running, recent research suggestsrunning may be the better bet for those looking to shed some pounds [4] [5]. Unsurprisingly, people expendtwo-and-a-half times more energy running than walking, whether thats on the track or on the treadmill [6]. So for a 160-lb person, running burns about800 calories an hour[2]compared to about 300 calories walking. And that equates to a pretty sizeable slice of pizza (who doesnt love cheat day rewards?).

Walking_JR_20120104_0

More interesting, a recent study found that even when runners and walkers expended equal amounts of energy (meaning walkers spent more time exercising and covered greater distances), runners still lost more weight [7]. Not only did the runners begin the study slimmer than the walkers; they also had a better chance of maintaining their BMI and waist circumference. Another recent study[3] supports the idea that running or brisk walking might be the better bet. Researchersfoundspeedier folks tend to be healthier than the slowpokes, even if those going slowly spend more time exercising[8]. (Of course, its possible that less healthy people are more inclined to walk slowly in the first place.)

That difference could possibly be explained by another recent study[4], which suggests that running regulates our appetite hormones better than walking [9]. After running or walking, participants were invited to a buffet, where walkers consumed about 50 calories more than they had burned and runners ate almost 200 calories fewer than theyd burned. Runners also had higher levels of the hormone peptide YY YY, which may suppress appetite.

Beyond losing weight, walking may still be super beneficial to our health [10]. Researchers looked at data from the National Runners Health Study and the National Walkers Health Study and found thatpeople who expended the same amount of calories regardless of whether they were walking or running saw pretty much the same health benefits. Were talking a reduced risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes, and better cardiovascular health.

But even the most time-efficient athletes might want to think twice before sprinting away all the time.Running puts morestress on the body[5]and increases the risk for injurieslikerunners knee, hamstring strains, and the dreadedshin splits(which plague even the mostconsistent runners). And of course, some people simply prefer totake things slow[6].

Walk This Way Your Action Plan

When running isnt in the cards, walking with weights might be the next best solution to getting in an energized workout. One study showed walking at a 4 mph on the treadmill with hand and ankle weights was comparable to jogging at 5 mph without the extra poundage[11]. (And if anyone looks twice, hand weights are totally in right now[7], dont they know?)

No matter which pace feels right, always make sure the body is ready for action. Sixty percent[8] of runners experience an injury serious enough to keep them from being active. So remember that a sweat session may be too strenuous if talking to that workout buddy leaves us gasping for air (aka the talk test FAIL). Listening to the body and completing a proper warmup and cool down are all ways to prevent injuries, so stay informed and spend more time running on the treadmill (and less time running to the doctor) [12].

Bored with both walking and running? There are about, oh, a bazillion other ways to keep active, from yoga and pilates to weight lifting and mountain biking, and pretty much everything in between. Dont be afraid to try new activities to stay happy and healthy!

The Takeaway

Regular cardio (at any speed) can help keep the body healthy, not to mention improve mood and energy levels. But, lap for lap, running burns about 2.5 times more calories than walking. Running may also help control appetite, so runners may lose more weight than walkers no matter how far the walkers go. Still, running isnt for everyone; going full-speed might increase injury risk.Adding hand and ankle weights can help pick up the intensity while maintaining a slower pace.

Photo by Justin Singh

More From Greatist:

How to Run Your Best 5K Ever88 Unexpected Snacks Under 100 CaloriesWhy Being Overweight Might Not Matter as Much as You Think[9][10][11]

Works Cited

  1. Greater weight loss from running than walking during a 6.2-yr prospective follow-up. Williams, P.T. Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 2013 Apr;45(4):706-13.[12]
  2. Long-term effects of aerobic exercise on psychological outcomes.DiLorenzo, T.M., Bargman, E.P., Stucky-Ropp, R. Department of Psychology, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO. Preventative Medicine, 1999 Jan;28(1):75-85.[13]
  3. Walking Versus Running for Hypertension, Cholesterol, and Diabetes Mellitus Risk Reduction. Williams, P.T., Thompson, P.D. Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology 2013 Apr 4. Epub ahead of print.[14]
  4. Walking Versus Running for Hypertension, Cholesterol, and Diabetes Mellitus Risk Reduction. Williams, P.T., Thompson, P.D. Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology 2013 Apr 4. Epub ahead of print.[15]
  5. Greater weight loss from running than walking during a 6.2-yr prospective follow-up. Williams, P.T. Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 2013 Apr;45(4):706-13.[16]
  6. Energy expenditure of walking and running: comparison with prediction equations.Hall, C., Figueroa, A., Fernhall, B., et. al., Department of Exercise Science, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 2004 Dec;36(12):2128-34.[17]
  7. Greater weight loss from running than walking during a 6.2-yr prospective follow-up. Williams, P.T. Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 2013 Apr;45(4):706-13.[18]
  8. The Relationship of Walking Intensity to Total and Specific-Cause Mortality. Results from the National Walkers Health Study. Williams, P.T., Thompson, P.D. Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California, USA. PLoS One 2013 Nov 19;8(11): e81098.[19]
  9. Influence of Running and Walking on Hormonal Regulators of Appetite in Women.Larson-Meyer, D.E., Palm, S., Bansal, A. Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, USA. Journal of Obesity 2012;2012:730490.[20]
  10. Walking Versus Running for Hypertension, Cholesterol, and Diabetes Mellitus Risk Reduction. Williams, P.T., Thompson, P.D. Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology 2013 Apr 4. Epub ahead of print.[21]
  11. Intensity and energy cost of weightedwalkingvs.runningfor men and women.Miller, J.F., Stamford, B.A., Journal of Applied Physiology, 1987 Apr;62(4):1497-501.[22]
  12. Warm-up and stretching in the prevention of muscular injury.[23]Woods K., Bishop P., Jones E., Human Performance Laboratory, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, Sports Medicine, 2007;37(12):1089-99.

References

  1. ^ health (www.forbes.com)
  2. ^ 800 calories an hour (www.mayoclinic.com)
  3. ^ recent study (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  4. ^ another recent study (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  5. ^ stress on the body (www.marathonnation.us)
  6. ^ take things slow (youtu.be)
  7. ^ totally in right now (www.youtube.com)
  8. ^ Sixty percent (my.clevelandclinic.org)
  9. ^ How to Run Your Best 5K Ever (greatist.com)
  10. ^ 88 Unexpected Snacks Under 100 Calories (greatist.com)
  11. ^ Why Being Overweight Might Not Matter as Much as You Think (greatist.com)
  12. ^ Greater weight loss from running than walking during a 6.2-yr prospective follow-up (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  13. ^ Long-term effects of aerobic exercise on psychological outcomes. (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  14. ^ Walking Versus Running for Hypertension, Cholesterol, and Diabetes Mellitus Risk Reduction (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  15. ^ Walking Versus Running for Hypertension, Cholesterol, and Diabetes Mellitus Risk Reduction (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  16. ^ Greater weight loss from running than walking during a 6.2-yr prospective follow-up (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  17. ^ Energy expenditure of walking and running: comparison with prediction equations. (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  18. ^ Greater weight loss from running than walking during a 6.2-yr prospective follow-up (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  19. ^ The Relationship of Walking Intensity to Total and Specific-Cause Mortality. Results from the National Walkers Health Study (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  20. ^ Influence of Running and Walking on Hormonal Regulators of Appetite in Women. (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  21. ^ Walking Versus Running for Hypertension, Cholesterol, and Diabetes Mellitus Risk Reduction (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  22. ^ Intensity and energy cost of weightedwalkingvs.runningfor men and women. (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  23. ^ Warm-up and stretching in the prevention of muscular injury. (www.runnersworld.com)

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Comments

  1. Reply

    Beginner Workout Tips? I was 210 pounds and I got down to 145. Unfortunately due I got back to my old habits and got back to 190. I lost my weight doing body weight training and high intensity cardio. Now that I’m 18 I want to go to the gym and turn it into muscle, but when I got into the gym I felt intimidated. I see all the people doing all these different workouts and all big, and I know know nothing. If you would be so kind, I would like a beginners workout schedule for the week. I mainly want to work on my core and my upper body, but still want a overall workout schedule. Thank you!

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    1. Reply

      Workout routines are what exercises, how many sets, how many reps
      etc. that you do for each muscle.
      Remember these things when making up your routine:
      1) Work chest, triceps and shoulders on the same day, and biceps and
      back on the same day so that it’s ok if the secondary muscles get
      worked that day, because your doing them anyway.
      2) Separate those muscles that work a secondary muscle so that they
      are far enough apart not to overtrain you. For example, do Chest
      Monday, triceps on Wednesdays, and shoulders Friday, and biceps
      Monday with chest, and back Wednesday or Friday.
      Here are a few sample split routines and workout programs.

      Monday – Chest/Back
      Tuesday – off
      Wednesday – Legs
      Thursday – off
      Friday – Shoulders/Arms
      Saturday – off
      Sunday – off

      Monday – Chest/Biceps
      Tuesday – off
      Wednesday – Shoulders/Legs
      Thursday – off
      Friday – Back/Triceps
      Saturday – off
      Sunday – off

      Monday – Chest/Triceps
      Tuesday – Back/Biceps
      Wednesday – off
      Thursday – Shoulders
      Friday – Legs
      Saturday – off
      Sunday – off

      Sample Weightlifting Workout Routines

      This is hard. There are so many exercises for each muscle, and so
      many ways to split them up and make a routine out of them. So instead
      of listing 10,000 workout routines, I’ll just list what I think are
      the most effective muscle building exercises for each muscle and
      later
      on you can decide which to use in your own workout routines.

      Chest
      Flat Bench Press
      Incline Bench Press
      Flat Bench Dumbell Flyes
      Incline Dumbell Flyes

      Back
      Deadlift
      Pull Ups, Chin Ups, Lat Pulldowns
      Seated Cable Row
      Bent Over Barbell Row
      Bent Over 1 Arm Dumbell Rows

      Biceps
      Standing Barbell Curls
      Preacher Curls (with dumbells or barbell)
      Seated/Standing Dumbell Curls

      Triceps
      Tricep Press Downs
      Dips
      Skull Crushers

      Legs
      Squats
      Romanian Deadlifts
      Lunges/Split Squats
      Calve Raises

      Shoulders
      Seated/Standing Military Press (with barbell or dumbells)
      Lateral Raises
      Shrugs

      Abs
      Crunches, leg raises, situps, hip thrusts, side bends, weighted
      situps, crunches with your legs bent, not bent, straight up in the
      air

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  2. Reply

    Can Someone Give Me Workout Tips? I’m 21 I weigh around 145, I’m very skinny and not too muscular, and I just started a routine of working out and running, I work out one day and run the next day and so on and so forth, i Know nothing about working out tho. Should I life less weight and more reps or more reps of less weight? Also if i want to get a 6-pack should i use the machine to work my abs or do sit ups on an incline?

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    1. Reply

      I;ll give you some tips , if you want to get muscular and have big muscles then workout 3 sets each exercise and start out by lifting low weights and more reps then go heavier weights and less reps. an example 15, 12, 8. eat foods with protein like fish, nuts, meat without fat. chicken chest, eggs. for six pack now if you have fat then you must remove it. start by running everyday for 30 min. eat less calories than your calorie intake. eat healthy. cut out junk foods. sweets, fast foods, chocolates, chips, sodas, candies. cookies and eat healthy cause abs you won’t get only by doing cardio and workout. and for abs exercises it doesn’t matter how you workout your abs. just workout in any way you like search on youtube for some exercises to learn more. the process of being muscular and getting abs it takes long time to see results. don’t give up. and be patient.

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