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Walking is Better Than Running

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Updated August 14, 2013

Mile 6 on the Columbia Gorge Marathon

Mile 6 on the Columbia Gorge Marathon

Wendy Bumgardner © 2012
Do you find yourself defending your preference for walking when you are surrounded by runners? 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

  • Fewer Injuries: Two out of three joggers are affected by injuries each year, most commonly of the knees. Walking produces far fewer injuries, the least injuries of any aerobic exercise.
  • Lower Impact: Runners impact 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.
  • Burn 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.
  • Less Sweat: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 2 miles each way in New York to a Broadway play wearing my slinky dress and sandals - in perfect comfort.
  • 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

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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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