Surely you’ve heard about the benefits of walking, whether for leisure, physical therapy or to get some activity in during a long day at the office. Both walking and running can help internal organs function smoothly, but which one is right for you? We’re frequently asked whether running or walking is better for heart, joint and overall body health, so read on where we dive into several reasons why walking is just as good, if not better, for your body than running.
Walking vs. Running: The Breakdown
Walking Encourages a Healthy Heart
One of the major benefits of walking at least 30 minutes each day is improved heart function. Regular aerobic activity can keep your whole body looser and you’ll begin to feel more energetic. In addition to lowering rates of heart disease and cholesterol, walking can also help regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Walking Lowers Stress Levels
Studies show that running may put stress on your immune system, which can be detrimental to heart heath. While it may help to burn fat, you also risk losing muscle tissue. One of the greatest benefits of walking is it’s easy on your body and still allows those of all ages to be active outside; it’s an activity you can sustain throughout your lifetime.
Walking Brings Increased Happiness
Walking is a wonderful way to reduce stress and anxiety, especially after a long day of sitting down at the office. Stepping outside and getting some fresh air helps to boost your mood, aid in concentration and boost productivity. Because of this, walking short distances multiple times per day can keep you feeing happier and more energetic.
Walking Reduces Risk of Injury
While running may be better for cardio activity and aiding in weight loss, walking helps reduce your risk of injury. Runners frequently experience leg issues like twisted ankles, shin splints, runner’s knee and strained hamstrings, while walking is used for physical therapy to help loosen the joints, and regulate blood sugar and cholesterol.
Walking Helps Improve Sleep Quality
For those suffering from insomnia or restlessness at night, daily walking can help regulate your body’s internal rhythm so you can doze away easily. This works because regular exercise helps lower your internal body temperature. After a brisk walk, the change in temperature from high to low helps facilitate sleep.
Walking Allows for Greater Workout Variance
If you’re looking to diversify your workout or vary it to compensate for an injury, it’s easy to amend your walking routine to meet your needs. If you want to burn more calories, you can walk faster and use hand or ankle weights; if you want to focus on posture and body alignment, you can take it slow and steady.
Walking Aids in Weight Loss
Like all physical activities, walking daily can help you keep a trim waistline, when paired with a healthy diet. Moderation is good for your body, and a steady routine of strolling each day can keep your metabolism working smoothly.
There are many benefits of walking including stress reduction, reduced risk of injury and the ability to modify a workout based on individual needs. When judging the benefits of walking vs. running, it’s important to remember both activities have pros and cons; each have their place in an active and balanced lifestyle, and every person’s needs are different.
Stay tuned for an article on ways running benefits your exercise plan. In the meantime, read more articles on our blog today, and join us as we get outside and get active!