8 Ways Walking is Better Than Running

Walkers Right - Runners Left on Half Marathon
Walkers Right - Runners Left at Foot Traffic Flat Half Marathon. Wendy Bumgardner ©

Do you find yourself defending your preference for walking when you are surrounded by runners? Do you have to endure the 10 things people should never say to a walker? Stand up with pride. You aren't "only a walker." Walking is better in many ways.

Is Walking Better than Running?
Yes! Walk, Don't Run

  • Walkers Get Fewer Injuries than Runners: Two out of three joggers are affected by running injuries each year, most commonly of the knees. Walking produces far fewer injuries, the least injuries of any aerobic exercise.
  • Walking is Lower Impact than Running: Runners impact the ground with 3 times their body weight each step, while walking only produces an impact of 1.5 times your body weight. Walking is far lower in impact yet still is a weight-bearing exercise that may prevent bone loss.
  • Walking Burns Fat: It is easier to set a fat burning pace when walking as opposed to jogging. A fat burning pace is one where you are breathing noticeably but able to carry on a conversation.
  • Walkers Sweat Less: In many climates, you can walk during lunch without needing to shower afterwards.
  • Become a Champion: Learn to racewalk and have a great chance at winning trophies at races, whereas a duffer runner has no chance at all. As a master you can often win your age group even as a beginner.
  • Walkers Can Stop and Smell the Roses: Walkers can slow down, enjoy a view, explore a trail, duck into a shop or stop for a snack. Runners just jog on by, intent on getting in their time.
  • Walkers Can Wear Normal Clothes: Runners have to put on their jogging suits, while walkers can often walk in whatever they happen to be wearing, perhaps with just a switch to comfy shoes. I walked two miles each way in New York to a Broadway play wearing my slinky dress and sandals - in perfect comfort.
  • Walkers Never Hit the Wall: Marathon runners face hitting the wall as they burn out all available fuel. Walkers generally do not hit the wall on a marathon because they use fully aerobic, fat-burning energy sources. Walkers can refuel as they go and their bodies have the time it takes to digest and use the fuel.

Jogging/Running: All kidding aside, running is excellent exercise and walkers have benefited from running research in shoes and training. If you enjoy both walking and running, come visit our Running site.

Exercise: Above all, we need to get moving. The Exercise site can help you tone up and spice up your exercise routine.

Next: 10 Reasons Walking is Better than Biking an Event

Source:
Colbert LH, Hootman JM, Macera CA. "Physical activity-related injuries in walkers and runners in the aerobics center longitudinal study." Clin J Sport Med. 2000 Oct;10(4):259-63.

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