Walking vs. Running: What’s Right For You?

Walking vs. Running: What’s Right For You?

Walking and running are both viable ways to exercise, but which suits you best?

By: Madeline Glasser

Exercising is an important aspect of living a healthy life, and adding 30 minutes of exercise a day has been proven to improve overall health and lower your risk for disease. Aerobic activity in particular is important for cardiovascular health. When most people think of aerobic activity, two kinds of exercise often come to mind: walking and running. The question is, which one is right for you? By comparing the benefits and effects of both, you can determine which one will work best for your health goals and lifestyle.

Benefits of Both Running and Walking
No matter how you put it, there are certain health benefits of both running and walking. By participating in either of these activities, you are reaping some of the following benefits:

  • Weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight once you reach your goal
  • Improving quality of sleep and overall mood
  • Increasing energy levels
  • Decreasing risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes
  • Saving money — they’re low-cost, do-anywhere activities

Why Walking Might be Right for You
Walking is a great form of exercise, especially for beginners. If you are just getting into an exercise routine, walking is a fantastic place to start. It eases you into aerobic activity while starting to build up endurance.


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Walking is great for those with a significant amount of weight to lose, those who have suffered from previous injury or have other health concerns. Walking is lower impact than running and places less stress on your joints. You can also burn a significant amount of fat, since it’s used as fuel by your body when you are exercising at a lower intensity. For a calorie-burning bonus, walk hills outdoors or increase your incline on the treadmill.

Why Running Might Be Right For You
Running is great for those with an aerobic fitness base. It is higher-impact than walking and therefore does place more stress on your joints. However, the impact also helps to prevent muscle and bone loss in your body, which is an advantage.

Running burns more calories in a shorter amount of time compared to walking and is one of the best ways to lose weight. If you’re just getting started, running and walking in intervals can help build stamina and increase your distance.

With running, there are a lot of ways to get involved in your local community as well, between running groups and local races. There is a huge feeling of camaraderie in the running community.

Before starting with either walking or running, you should consult with your healthcare provider to make sure you are fit to begin exercising or to change your routine. Once you do, keeping good form and wearing the proper shoes can help prevent injury. Make sure to stay hydrated, especially in the heat of summer or the bitter cold of winter. Most importantly, choose an activity you like! If you enjoy it, you’re far more likely to commit to exercising for the long term.

Madeline is the author of the Food, Fitness, and Family blog where she writes about yummy eats, sweaty workouts and life as a family of three — soon to be four! She is an Army wife dedicated to finding balance between kale and cake pops while raising her growing family.

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