Walking may be just as beneficial as running if you want to lose weight. Running isn’t actually a bad idea, but walking for exercise is much more accessible for the average person. Once you know the benefits of walking, you might re-think of taking the lift to your office.
So what is the benefits of running?
Running uses aroud 2.5 times as much energy as does walking. Of course, the more energy used the more calories are burned in a shorter period of time. Even with the same amount of energy is used, runners still tend to lose more weight. Runners also maintain their body mass index over time, and running may help regulate a person’s appetite. Again, running for exercise certainly has its benefits, but it has its downsides as well.
What is the bad side of running?
Well, when runners lose weight, it’s lost from their muscle mass rather than fat storage. This happens because your muscles are more metabolic and therefore burn more calories than fat does. And despite the fact that running steadily may regulate a person’s appetite, too much running increases a body’s production of cortisol. This stress hormone increases a person’s appetite. Not only can over-exerting yourself cause your appetite to increase, but it also makes you leptin-resistant. This blocks your body from notifying you when you are too full, which results in overeating. Finally, an increase in cortisol will also result in your thyroid’s inability to produce the hormone T4, which leads to a loss of energy and an inability to burn fat.
Pros of Walking
There are many good things that come from a simple walk. Walking actualyl reduces your risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and cardiovascular disease the same way running does despite the discrepancy in intensity. You can burn 500 calories a day and you can lose a pound in a week by doing power walking for one hour each day. You don’t have a full hour block of time in which to exercise and don’t want to work up a sweat during your day job, just make sure you spend at least an hour and a half on your feet throughout the day. You’d be shocked at how much time you spend walking on a daily basis. Use a step counter and you’ll realize you probably spend at least 60 minutes walking throughout your daily routine.
If possible, increase the intensity of your walk without bursting out into an all out sprint by holding small weights as you go. If you use a treadmill, increase the incline intermittently. If you’re walking around your neighbourhood, don’t avoid those hills because walking up hills are good for you.
A Matter of Preference
While it’s obvious that both walking and running are beneficial to your overall health, it’s simply a matter of your choice which method of exercise you’d prefer. However, if you choose to run, be careful not to burn yourself out or over-exert yourself. You could end up doing more damage to your body than good. On the other hand, walking is a great way to stay in control while you stride toward your goal. While finding time to change into gym clothes and hit the track for a run is definitely a time-consuming process, you can fit time for walking into your daily schedule almost seamlessly. Walk on!