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Walking or Running?

Walking or running- Is one better than the other?

I'm here to tell you that you can forget about choosing between the two because both are great options for cardiovascular health and caloric burn. Research reported by the American Heart Association said that brisk walking can be just as effective as running for lowering the risk of heart disease. So what's important is we understand how both can be used most appropriately for individuals.

Lets get something out of the way. I've had questions from clients regarding this. A mile walked isn't going to produce the same result as a mile ran. You'd have to be walking pretty intensely to match the results of running a mile. This is the main difference between the two. Outside of maybe impact on the joints both are quite beneficial. Running is less efficient of a movement for the body. It has to work a lot harder to maintain the pace for the duration, therefore producing a greater caloric burn.

Now if you've got time to walk longer you can certainly achieve the same goals between the two. Dr. Paul Thompson M.D. Chief of Cardiology at Hartford Hospital says, “The key difference between running and walking is how many calories you are burning—not per mile, but per minute of exercise."

The beauty of walking and running is you don't need any equipment or memberships. Anyone can do it and benefit from it. Keep it simple. If you can run, try and run. If you can't run, walk. Each takes effort and need stamina built up. There is no right or wrong between these two when the goal is to have a healthy heart.

Walking in general is everything we need. Alone it's such an underappreciated aspect of health and fitness when it should be at the forefront. It's easy, scalable and can help build momentum in your fitness journey. Walking keeps those lungs working, blood flowing, helps with hypertension (blood pressure), helps joints and muscle endurance. An article from Science Daily states an NMHU research team and others previously found that the foot's impact during running/walking caused significant impact-related retrograde (backward-flowing) waves through the arteries that sync with the heart rate and stride rate to dynamically regulate blood circulation to the brain.

**In simple words: The research found that the foot's impact during walking sends pressure waves through the arteries that significantly modify and can increase the supply of blood to the brain.

DW FIT's main message is to get people back to being active. So of course I'm going to be an advocate for walking. Don't sleep on walks. Make walking a part of your daily routine: walking the dog, hitting some trails, walk with friends! Get out and take a stroll, clear your mind, take some deep breathes of fresh air. You never know how it may help...maybe you'll even want to take a little run!

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