8 Ways Walking is Better Than Running

If you prefer walking to running, you may feel defensive when surrounded by runners. Stand up with pride. You aren't "only a walker." Brisk walking is an excellent moderate-intensity exercise for reducing health risks, building fitness, and assisting in weight loss. Even slower-paced walking to get in your 10,000 steps each day has many benefits.

Learn the various ways walking is actually better than running.

Walkers Get Fewer Injuries Than Runners

Walking produces far fewer injuries, the least injuries of any aerobic exercise. It has long been suspected that running injuries, as well as stress from long runs such as marathons, may lead to changes that can result in osteoarthritis, especially in the knees.

Researchers note that up to half of all runners are affected by running injuries each year which could lead to lasting damage.

Walking Is Lower-Impact Than Running

Runners impact the ground with three times their body weight with each step while walking produces an impact only 1.5 times your body weight. This is especially important if you are overweight or already have developed joint problems.

As a lower-impact exercise, you feel less fatigue and there is less wear-and-tear on your body with walking. Yet walking is still is a weight-bearing exercise that may prevent bone loss.

Walking Burns Calories

There are many high intensity activities—such as running or interval training—that are known to burn substantial calories in a short period of time. But not everyone can sustain these activities for long enough to make a meaningful impact.

Walking, on the other hand, is usually sustainable for longer durations. For example, someone who is not comfortable running for more than 5 or 10 minutes may be able to sustain a brisk walking pace for 30–45 minutes and burn more calories in the process.

Furthermore, if walking is more comfortable, you are more likely to maintain a regular practice. The bottom line is that you may be able to burn more calories with a consistent, sustainable practice of walking than you do with sporadic, brief episodes of higher intensity exercise.

Walkers Can Stop and Smell the Roses

Walkers can slow down, enjoy a view, explore a trail, duck into a shop, or stop for a snack. Runners often just jog on by, intent on getting in their time. This advantage to walking has been shown by research to have health benefits. Walking in natural settings such as a park can help relieve stress and rumination. You can take a stress-relief walk anytime.

Walkers Sweat Less

In many climates, you can walk during lunch without needing to shower afterward, while a running workout will require one. You will also be less likely to get heat sickness during hot weather if you walk rather than run, although you must still take precautions.

Walkers Can Wear Normal Clothes

Runners have to put on their running clothes, while walkers can often walk in whatever they happen to be wearing, perhaps with just a switch to comfy shoes. While you may want to wear technical athletic clothing for a walking workout on the treadmill, you can also take a healthy brisk stroll without gearing up.

You can walk to work or do your daily errands on foot while wearing comfortable shoes or sandals. Doing so will help reduce long sitting time that can lead to increased health risks. Don't wait to get moving until you have time to hit the gym.

Walkers Can Be Champions

If you learn to racewalk you will have a great chance at winning trophies at races, whereas a recreational runner has no chance at all. As a master, you can often win your age group even as a beginner.

Also, keep in mind that at most races such as a half-marathon or marathon you will get the same medal at the finish as those who reached the finish line in half of the time. You just got to enjoy the course for longer.

Walkers Never Hit the Wall

Marathon runners face hitting the wall—burning out all available fuel and experiencing extreme fatigue. Walkers generally do not hit the wall on a marathon because they use fully aerobic, fat-burning energy sources. Walkers can refuel as they go and their bodies have the time it takes to digest and use the fuel.

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