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To Walk or to Run?

When it comes to exercising, is one better than the other? Well, both are good for you, and there are compelling arguments for each. At the end of the day, it depends on your goals.

Why You Should Run

You lose more weight. One study compared a group of walkers to a group of runners. Even when they burned the same amount of calories (the walkers had to exercise for quite a bit longer than the runners did), people in the running group ended up losing more weight.

It helps your appetite hormones. A different study looked at walkers and runners at a post-workout buffet. The runners consumed about 200 fewer calories than what they’d burned off during their workout, but the walkers ate about 50 more calories than what they’d burned off. That might be because exercise increases the levels of certain hormones (like peptide YY) that suppress your appetite.

Why You Should Walk

You burn more fat. Disclaimer: take this with a grain of salt. When you exercise, your body burns both carbs and fats—your fitness level (e.g., if you’re an endurance athlete) and the intensity of your workout determine whether the body will burn more carbs or fats. Typically, low intensity workouts (like walking) result in the body burning more stored fat. At the same time, you’re more likely to lose weight with running because you’ll probably burn more overall fat during your workout, even if it’s true that you burn a higher percentage of fat with walking.

It’s easier on the body. Walkers are less likely to get shin splints, stress fractures, and other joint issues that stem from pounding your running shoes against the pavement. When it comes to high blood pressure and cholesterol, runners have pretty good levels, but walkers often have even better levels. Finally, one study found that people who regularly run several days a week at a fast pace (meaning faster than 7 miles per hour) have the same mortality rate as people who don’t run at all. Let me clarify—running is not bad, but it is possible for you to overdo it.

It’s good for the immune system. First off, pushing yourself too hard when exercising can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to illnesses. Secondly, some researchers found that too much intense exercise can actually increase levels of some inflammatory proteins—particularly ones that help viruses thrive.

But when all is said and done, exercise is good for you, whether you’re walking or running. Have any health questions? Come visit us at our offices conveniently located in Colleyville and Fort Worth! Schedule an appointment by calling us at (817) 416-5698 today.