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Running Vs Walking - Benefits Of Each

Books to Improve your Running

Running and walking may be very similar activities in terms of biomechanics but they are very different in other aspects. These aspects may include elements such as calorie expenditure, impact, efficiency and even the recovery periods. Although walking is good exercise for those who are just starting to workout and previously did not do any exercise, it is inferior to running in terms of total benefits. Those who start their exercise by walking are encouraged to gradually increase the intensity to a jog and then a run if they want to achieve the maximum benefits associated with exercising on a regular basis. This article will compare running and walking in an effort to help the reader understand the differences and how they can be exploited to tailor a training program to help the individual to achieve his personal goals.

Let us first consider an individual who is determined to lose 40 pounds of excess weight. This individual may currently not be eating properly and may be doing no formal exercise at all. The body requires a certain number of calories each day to simply sustain life and perform daily activities. However, those who participate in formal exercise sessions can increase the amount of calories they need each day. This is helpful for promoting weight loss because creating a 500 calorie deficit each day will enable the individual to lose one pound of weight per week. For those who have been sedentary through most of their life, walking is a good introduction to exercise. This is because walking is a simple, low impact activity which does not require any advanced training. People learn how to walk at an early age and likely walk short distances each day during the course of their daily activities. Therefore, walking for exercise purposes can be as simple as putting on some comfortable clothes and a pair of sneakers and heading outside for a leisurely stroll. Depending on the fitness level of the individual these first few walks may only be ten minutes long and may require the individual to stay on flat ground because hills would require too much exertion.

This type of exercise may be very beneficial for promoting weight loss at first because it is an increase in activity and calorie expenditure. The individual may even lose a few pounds in the first week. This weight loss may continue for some time but unless the individual modifies the exercise routine in terms of distance, duration or intensity it is likely the weight loss will soon stagnate and the individual will have difficulty achieving his original weight loss goal of losing 40 pounds. In most cases, it will be necessary for the runner to build up the intensity to a jog and then a run to enjoy the benefits he is seeking. This is because running requires more calories than walking. Some may argue that an individual will burn the same amount of calories walking one mile as he would running one mile but this is simply not true. This is because walking is a more efficient activity and therefore requires fewer calories than running requires. An individual would have to walk approximately twice as far as they run to expend the same amount of calories. This can be very time consuming because the pace of a walk is significantly slower than the pace of a run and most people do not have this much time to devote to exercise on a regular basis. Therefore, it is worthwhile for the individual to improve his fitness level to the point where he can run if he is really serious about achieving his weight loss goals.

Another important factor to consider when examining the difference between running and walking is the impact of the exercise. Running is generally considered to be a fairly high impact exercise with a great deal of repetitive pounding. This can cause inflammation of the joints including the ankles, knees and hips. Conversely walking is considered to be a low impact activity and is therefore less harsh on the joints. However, it is the harsher impact of running which makes runners less susceptible to bone loss later in life. Therefore, individuals must carefully consider the effects of impact in deciding whether to pursue running or walking as their primary form of exercise.

Finally, regardless of whether an individual chooses to focus on walking or running for his exercise needs he should purchase equipment which is specific for his chosen sport. There are shoes which are designed specifically for walking as well as shoes which are designed specifically for running and it is important to select a shoe which is designed for your activity of choice. Walking shoes are usually stiffer and heavier than running shoes. This is because the walking motion does not require as much flexibility as the running motion. Also heavier shoes provide more cushioning for the foot. Although it may seem as though runners would need more cushioning because of the greater impact, runners typically choose lighter shoes because heavier shoes can make striding more difficult for runners but does not have this same impact on walkers. If you are unsure about the type of shoe to select for your activity consider visiting a store with a wide variety of athletic shoes and a knowledgeable staff which can help you make the right choice.


The video clip above is from my DVD about running stetches and other running related information. Click on the DVD case below to find out more.

Running Stretches and Running Tips

Click Here to view the DVD.

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