To Run or To Walk

6 cool sidewalk pic

A lot of people ask about whether they should be walking or running.  You know when you are bigger running feels like it is impossible especially if you have never really exercised.  A major cause for the run or walk question is that it is widely believed that running is “better” than walking.  Now don’t get me wrong, running will burn more calories per hour and it gives you the best opportunity to really ramp up your fitness but it is not the only way.  Especially for someone just starting out on their journey to lose weight.  Even though it may seem like running is the best way it can be hard to get over the mental aspect of it being so hard.  And it doesn’t ever get easy but it does get easier I think.

Here is the real deal:  The better choice is the one that will help you feel good about getting out and doing it.  If walking is something you like more than running then by all means walk.  Doing the exercise that you will do the longest is the best choice in my opinion.  When I say “do the longest” I don’t mean each bout of exercise, I mean long term success.  If you hate running but you know you can burn more calories do it………what does it matter if you end up quitting it because you hate it.  If you like to walk and keep doing it for ten years the calories that you don’t burn as compared to running are made up for by the fact that you did not quit.

You can always mix both of them together which is my favorite thing to do.  Also, if you enjoy walking try to pick up the pace.  If you can get more into a pace below 15 minute miles you will begin to burn closer to what you would running.  I believe that you have to get done to around 12 minute mile pace or lower to start burning about the same because it is not efficient to walk that fast.  I know that the race walkers at the Portland marathon will finish the race sub 9 minute mile pace.  THAT IS CRAZY.

Key things to note

  • The most important thing is consistency.  Getting out there day after day, week after week, and month after month.
  • Injury prevention is super important to keep up your morale and keep you moving more consistently
  • Do something that you like. LOL.  I know that is a hard one since most of us don’t like any exercise at the start but that is what consistency builds
  • Run or walk???  Do what you feel best about and always remember to push your limits either way.

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