Don't get me wrong. Walking is good. Some form of exercise is better than nothing. Agree? But what is better? Walk or a Run? Well, it all depends on what you are trying to accomplish.
Trying to Eat Less and Lose Weight?
Run first. Yes, walking can provide many of the same health benefits (stress reduction, disease prevention, eliminates or reduces depression and boosts confidence) associated with running, but running may be best for weight loss. People use up 2.5 times more energy running than walking, whether its on the treadmill or outdoors. Runners also have a better chance of maintaining their BMI and waist circumference because running helps to regulate appetite hormones better than walking.
In a study, walkers invited to a buffet actually consumed 50 calories MORE than they had burned!! While the runners in the same study ate 200 LESS calories than they had burned simply because they had increased levels of the hormone peptide YY, which helps to suppress appetite. Running has a whole lot of benefits that walking may not be able to provide.
That said, running does have its side effects. Even the most disciplined runners face runner's knees, hamstring strains and shin splints.
Looking to Improve Overall Health?
If your health doesn't allow you to run for whatever reasons, walking will do. But why not try walking with weights? It will be an effective workout just as good as running. Attach weights to your ankle for that added effort to make the steps to burn more calories or wear a weighted vest while walking. It will increase the exercise intensity which translates to more energy burnt. Or if on a treadmill, you can do the above and increase your incline too. This will help in an even greater exercise intensity.
Regular cardio is important to good health but running uses up more energy than walking. But running isn't for everyone. No matter what, listen to your body, stretch well before any workout and cool down to prevent cramps and further injuries which may hamper your workout plan. and don't forget to plug in your fav music while working out. It always doesn't feel like a workout when you are listening to your best loved hits.
When you feel your clothes fitting better and get second looks from strangers, you will know it was all worth it. Enjoy your workout!!