Contributed by: Healthians Team 


Most of us base our whole fitness strategy on a gym membership. We believe it is evident that a gym includes all the equipment and free weights needed to improve general health, build muscle, and reduce weight.

However, most of us are unaware that walking and running both have the same advantages. Both offer a wealth of benefits for both physical and mental health.

Walking and running are both appropriate exercises for heart health and weight loss. The advantages and hazards vary depending on a person’s objectives and present state of fitness and health.

Although both can help lose weight, burn calories, and reduce the chances of developing heart disease, there is a serious debate on which is better, let’s find out what helps in improving heart health and weight loss walking or running. 

Running vs Walking: Some health benefits 

Cardio is another name for cardiovascular exercise or activity. It often engages the body’s primary muscular groups, causes the heart to beat faster, and quickens breathing.

Cardio exercises include both running and walking. Cardiovascular exercise has several positive health effects.

  • Burning fat and calories resulting in weight loss
  • Managing or preventing diseases, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease by decreasing cholesterol
  • Enhancing heart health and sleep habits
  • Reducing stress and boosting endurance
  • Enhancing psychological well-being by lowering anxiety and despair
  • Improving bone density
  • Improving immunity 

One study looked at the advantages of exercise for mental health and discovered that along with its other health advantages, 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, was sufficient to lower anxiety and sadness.

Running vs Walking: Which improves heart health?

Running and walking are both beneficial for shedding weight, enhancing mental wellness, and improving physical health.

Walking and running lower the risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, and diabetes, according to a study that was published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

According to another study from the American Heart Association, brisk walking for at least 150 minutes per week reduces the chance of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

So, as per the conclusion from the above research, it could be said that walking helps to improve cardiovascular health. 

Running vs Walking: Which is better for burning calories?

Running burns more calories than walking, yet both activities are beneficial to your health.

The American Council on Exercise estimates that an individual weighing 72 Kg will burn around 15.1 calories per minute when jogging. A person of the same weight expends 8.7 calories per minute while walking, in comparison.

Running and walking both burn calories depending on a variety of variables, such as

  • Body weight exercise duration
  • The level of activity’s intensity
  • Compared to walking, running burns more calories each minute. However, by walking for a longer period of time, walkers might still burn the same number of calories.

Walking and running might still provide the same advantages based on a person’s objectives.

Running vs Walking: Which one to pick for kicking away belly fat?

According to studies, having a lot of belly fat increases your chance of developing conditions including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Exercise may help a person lose belly fat whether it’s a run or a stroll.

According to health research, regular aerobic activity, like walking, reduces belly fat and aids in managing obesity.

Depending on the amount of effort put into the activity, walking and running can also assist reduce abdominal fat.

Running, though, could make belly fat reduction more successful and fast.

High-intensity training had a greater impact on lowering body fat overall whereas low-intensity exercise was more successful at reducing belly fat.

People who wish to reduce their belly fat should think about consulting their doctor, who can advise them on the best diet and exercise regimen for their requirements. 

How much walking a day is good for your heart?

Walking provides a number of health advantages, poses few hazards, and is a low-impact, moderate-intensity activity. The CDC advises that most individuals strive for 10,000 steps per day as a result. This is roughly equal to 8 kilometres, or 5 miles, for most individuals.

On average a person only walks between 3,000 and 4,000 steps a day, or 1.5 to 2 miles. Many people are not focusing on the number of steps each day to improve their health, since physicians often consider anyone who takes less than 5,000 steps per day to be inactive.

Benefits and risks to keep in mind

Running and walking can improve heart health and provide a number of other health advantages, but they also carry some potential hazards.

Running poses a greater risk of injury than walking. This is due to the fact that running is more strenuous and strains the body’s joints in particular.

According to studies, runners have a higher chance of injury than walkers.

The following are a few of the most frequent injuries linked to running:

  • soft tissue injuries 
  • fractures
  • ankle sprains

It is important for runners to take precautions to lower their chance of suffering injuries when jogging or running.

Walking provides the same health benefits as running but a reduced chance of injury, so if someone is concerned about being injured while running can prefer to walk instead.

Anyone who has arthritis, heart disease, or another ongoing medical issue and considering jogging should first speak with their doctor and get prior guidance on workouts.

Final thoughts 

Running and walking are both suitable types of exercise depending on a person’s objectives. Both can help people maintain a healthy weight while also enhancing their cardiac, mental, and other wellness.

Regardless of the type of exercise a person selects, frequent involvement will have favourable effects.

Walking could be a better option for people just beginning their fitness journey because it just requires low to moderate intensity. Running could be a better option for those looking to burn more calories, though.

It’s a good idea to start with some physical activity, whether running or walking as it is going to benefit you in endless mental and physical aspects. 

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