Running vs. Walking – Which One Is Better?

Jun 28, 2012 //

There are many factors at play, and in need of consideration before we can establish whether running or walking is better, with respect to health benefits. A leisurely stroll across the park, with the wind slightly whistling through the skin, as the grass shines a bright green under the smiling gaze of an afternoon sun, liberating the body; or a brisk run, complete with an adrenaline rush, heart-thumping, runner’s high, can all help you reap the vast benefits of exercising, and appreciate life with newfound intensity.

Speaking factually: running and walking are pretty much similar as exercises in terms of biomechanics; but that is not to say that other stark differences between the two activities don’t well exist. Yes, walking and running vary immensely in terms of calorie burning, impact, efficiency and the time it takes to recover post-exercise. Yet, the question remains unanswered, as to if we are to wrestle the two down, which would tap the other out? We need to examine a few factors that are vital contributors to benefits of running and walking! So, let the games begin, running and walking – which one is better? In three, two, one, go!

In Terms of Shedding those Pounds!

When it comes to losing weight, which one is better, walking or running? Off the top of the head, running sounds like a better deal when it comes to weight loss, simply because it is more of an energy expending activity, contributing more towards calorie burning! However, the catch here is that the individual may have to keep switching between paces if he or she wants to keep losing weight, instead of hitting the point of stagnation—utter exhaustion–at some level; this is where walking can show off! In order for running to remain effective, the individual must start with walking, then advance to jogging, and finally pick up the pace to sprint through those final fields of glory!

The point being, running is nothing without walking there to provide the body an approval that it’s primed to hit the ground running! However, this does not change the fact that running contributes much more towards weight loss than walking! Round one, goes to running hands down!

In Terms of the Level of Impact!

Another important aspect to consider when fighting out running and walking in a full-fledged, no-holes-barred round of the survival of the fittest is the level of impact each deals out! Running is more impactful than walking, as it requires a great deal of pounding feet on pavement or turf or grass, repeatedly. Even though this can cause inflammation of the joints including the hips, ankles and knees in the short run, it can actually prevent bone loss in the long run!

The factor to consider here is age! If you start at a young age when your body is more open to hits, jolts and bruises then running is in fact calling your name. But, if you are older and facing the most minor of joint-related troubles, we suggest you stick to walking and perhaps advance on to running some point in time down the road! Well, what do you know? Looks as if this round is a tie!

In Terms of the Attire!

Attire is an important factor to consider when it comes to anything! Be it social outings, business related meetings and even exercising! The deal we consider here is which of the two calls for an easier, more laid back, casual attire? In terms of clothes, both running and walking can be performed in most anything that passes of as comfortable, made of a soft material and preferably either lose or stretchable!

What about the shoes? There is a big difference between walking shoes and running shoes, and surprisingly this is one difference people mostly fail to distinguish or understand! Walking shoes are slightly heavier, as walking is a more time consuming activity and heavier shoes provide more cushioning to the foot, and since walking does not require much flexibility, heavier and stiffer shoes are a better bet! Running shoes on the other hand are super light because heavier shoes can make taking large strides difficult and break the flow of impact as well!

We’ll call this one a tie as well, because both require clothing and equipment that is readily available, affordable and allows air to pass through wherever it finds its way; let’s face it, when we’re sweating, we beg for it!


Running and walking have been neck-to-neck in this faceoff! However, running provides the added benefit of contributing significantly more towards weight loss; but walking hasn’t given up hope yet! It is a fact, that if you are very much out of shape and overweight, running can do you more harm than good.

It is walking that works wonders for you here in terms of weight loss and cardio health, in an easy-going, less stressful, leisurely way!

Given all these factors, it is fair to say running and walking are both equally beneficial in their own respects. Where running loses, walking emerges as the champ; and where walking loses, running drifts it to a sprint of a win!

George Ponting

George Ponting remains up-to-date with General Fitness! From a young age, he has been extremely keen on and passionate about learning about the best ways to remain fit. George is full of tips, advice and suggestions in the field of fitness! Stay tuned to our General Fitness Section to receive the hottest Fitness information

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