Running and walking can help prevent heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes – they can even lift your mood! However, it is difficult to compare the two. As with all cardio exercises, the goal is to keep your heart rate at an elevated level for an extended period of time. Cardio exercise is also the best way to lose weight. If weight loss is your goal, running or jogging will be more beneficial than walking the same distance, as they use more energy and thus burn more calories.
The only con for running is that it can increase your risk of injury or exhaustion. You need to know your limits and not push yourself too hard. It is also imperative to have a proper running shoe, in order to support your feet, ankles and knees. For the same reason, it is preferable to run on a slightly softer surface, like grass or a running track.
Walking is considered better for the elderly and those prone to injury. Some have found that walking with hand weights can enhance the exercise, as the extra pounds will help you burn more energy, and tone your arm muscles at the same time. If your fitness levels aren’t fantastic, you might also be better to start walking and work your way up to running. While jogging can be difficult for those who don’t yet have the stamina, these same people may be able to walk for twice the distance.
Regardless of whether you’re walking or jogging, it is vital you do it daily, or as often as possible, for it to have any benefit at all. While finding the motivation can be difficult, there are many ways to make exercise fun! Try to remember that the ultimate goal of exercise is not to enhance your looks – although that is a positive side effect! It is to improve your health and quality of life. This is a long term commitment and there is no time like the present to start your routine.