Running or walking: What to choose to lose weight or improve health?
Walking and running are basic exercises that we learn in an innate way and that can help us in our day to day to improve health. But it is not as easy as going for a run or walking, waiting for the miracle to take place. Depending on each case, it will be more beneficial to walk than to run, or vice versa, or a mixture of both.
As we saw, you do not necessarily have to take 10,000 steps a day to be in shape. You have to know how to contextualize these 10,000 steps according to the person and the intensity of those steps. Running or walking? Both have benefits, but it depends on the context of each person to choose one or the other.
Moving is beneficial, that is unquestionable
Both walking and running involve moving our body, something that makes muscles, joints and cardiorespiratory system work. This is a good thing, since we fight the monetarism and reduce the hours that we spent seated, something bad for the health.
Walking or running frequently will improve the functional capacity of our heart and lungs. It also means greater energy expenditure, thus reducing the risk of overweight. And it helps prevent diseases such as depression, diabetes or hypertension.
Walking: affordable to everyone and less risk of injury
If you have not exercised for a long time or if you have too many kilos, it is best to start by walking . It is an activity with less impact than running and the risk of injury is much lower. Even if you think that walking will not be of any use to you, it is the first step to achieve your goals.
By walking we can play with distance and intensity, so it is an activity adaptable to different levels of physical condition. You can start walking 30-40 minutes at a normal pace and gradually increase distance and walking speed. The inclination of the terrain can also be used to modify the intensity.
Being a low impact activity, we can do it every day. As we have said, every day we will seek to make more distance or more intensity, to progress. Until there comes a time when we notice that no matter how much we walk, it falls short. Then it’s time to move on to the race.
Running: extra benefits when exercising at more intensity
For a person without weight problems, diseases or who is somewhat fit, running will have greater benefits than walking , since the stimulus that involves walking does not reach a minimum threshold to produce adaptations at the muscular, cardiovascular, metabolic or respiratory level.
In any case, if you have not run for a long time, it is always advisable to start alternating hiking and running, as we proposed in your training day to run for the first time 5 kilometers.
Running can not be taken as a shortcut to lose weight or improve fitness. If we are not used to exercising, it is best to start by walking or running. Running is a traumatic activity and our locomotor system has to adapt little by little to those impacts of the foot against the ground to avoid the typical injuries of the runner.
Conclusions about walking or running to lose weight or get in shape
In summary and in progression, we will see some conclusions on this topic:
- If I have not exercised for a long time, it is best to start by walking: 30-40 ‘daily or day, not day.
- If I am overweight, obese or have a joint problem, starting with walking is also recommended (always under medical prescription).
- If I have been walking for a while and I want to progress, I will begin to increase little by little the distance I walk and, also, the pace of the walk. You also have to go little by little with slopes.
- If walking is too short, we will alternate walking and running: first more walking than running, then more race than walking.
- If I am not overweight and I am somewhat fit, I can start running: little by little and in progression .
For a person who starts from scratch, start running can be disastrous. Likewise, for a person who is somewhat fit or not overweight, start walking may not have any effect. That’s why you do not have to consider: “run or walk”, as a global question , but as a personal question to see what is more benefits in each case.
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