TO WALK OR TO RUN?
Is it better to walk or to run? This has been an ongoing discussion over the years and I decided it’s time for me to look into it, as lately my dodgy knee has been starting to protest when running. I’ve spent the last few days googling and reading opinions about this conundrum.
It seems that there isn’t a simple answer. There are questions that need to be asked. Why are you exercising? For weight loss? To increase your fitness? For a general feeling of wellbeing? Do you have injuries? Do you enjoy running? Do you enjoy walking? How much time do you have available?
After doing quite a bit of reading my conclusion is that if you are exercising to increase you fitness, then running is the most time efficient way of burning calories. A high number of calories can be burned when walking or hiking, as I can attest to. However, the time spent doing it needs to be longer, to attain the same calorie burn. The research seems to say that both running and walking give a feeling of well being. Injuries is something that the exerciser has to think about and plan their exercise program around. Many with injuries may find that walking is more suitable for them.
I’m a big supporter of doing what you like best. If you try to stick to a program of any form of exercise that you don’t like, the chances of continuing in the long term are minimal. There is a higher risk that exercise will be abandoned altogether. I would say that if you love to walk, then walk. If you love to run, then run. Choose a form of exercise that you enjoy as that will put you on the road to success.
Over the years, I’ve combined both running and walking. I love to go out into the bush for a few hours of hiking. Depending on the terrain, hiking can be a huge calorie burner. It definitely increases my feeling of well being. As I’ve become older, and am still working, I find that getting out into the bush seems to clear my head, recalibrate my mood and my feeling of happiness. I have decided that I need to do it often and have made plans to make hiking a regular feature of my exercise program. Visit my 150 Walks in Victoria blog post to check out my hiking plan for 2018.
I’ve done many fun runs in the past ten years. Some alone, and some with friends. I have loved every one of them. I’ve loved and hated the training. The main reason for the dislike is stress. When training for a running event, the voice in my head goes a bit crazy and tries to convince me that I’m not training hard enough, that I’m not a runner, I shouldn’t be doing this run. I will come last! Every negative thought it’s possible to think, occurs to me, when training for an event. Come event day, all is good and I go out and do the event without the negative thoughts. But I’ve noticed that this craziness has become worse as I’ve aged.
The New York Times blog comparing walking to running is an interesting read for anyone particularly interested in the subject.
Grapest was a fun 5k event, run on the trails behind the winery and crossing the finish line in the winery. The route then led on to a 1k walk of wine tasting, followed by live bands, food and dancing. This is a new series of events, being held around Australia. If there’s one near you, I’d highly recommend it.
After giving this a huge amount of thought, I’ve decided that the Grapefest run and all the fun that went with it, will be my last fun run. My dodgy knees are starting to scream at me a bit when I run more than about 1k. I’m still fitting short interval runs into my exercise program, and I plan to keep doing trail runs, just for fun. Running on the softer dirt tracks doesn’t seem to bother my knees, and I really love running in the bush. But there will be no more fun runs for me!
I’m happy with the decision and not concerned that this will impact on my exercise program. Cardio from now on will be hiking, long distance walking, cycling and trail running when I feel like it.
I’d love to hear your thoughts? Your preference? To run or to walk?