Let’s talk about walking vs running.

When I was a kid, I was not athletic. Turns out, that doesn’t really change as you get older.

But I could run – fast. I was really good at short bursts of speed, just enough to get away from my big brother.

Turns out, that does change. I don’t run anymore. At all.

But I can walk. Boy, can I walk. I’m not fast, but I can go the distance.

And that’s not a bad thing, according to a report from Healthline.

If you’re looking to lose weight, running will take off the pounds a lot faster than walking. A 160-pound person will burn 606 calories by running 5 miles per hour, but will only burn 324 calories by walking 3.5 miles per hour. To lose a pound, you have to burn 3,500 calories, so that’s a lot of walking.

Of course, there are people who can walk really fast – like up to 7 to 10 mph, or power walking, and they are going to burn the same calories as someone who is running at the same speed. Walking uphill, or incline walking can also burn the same calories as running.

And walking can be better, especially if you’re out of shape, older or not athletic.

Up to half of the runners report running injuries every year. Running can lead to stress fractures, shin splints, falls, and osteoarthritis.

Walking is low-impact and has the least injuries of any aerobic exercise. But because walking is a weight-bearing exercise, it can prevent bone loss.

Walking also can help relieve stress, can be done without special clothing and you can squeeze in 30 minutes or an hour whenever you have some free time. With running, you’re going to need to wear looser clothes that you don’t mind sweating in. And since walking is easier than running, people are more likely to do it on a regular basis.

Some walkers turn into runners. As they start moving and getting into shape, walkers start moving faster. Walking can be a gateway to becoming a runner.

I may never be a runner again, and I definitely will never be as fast as I once was. But a good long walk gets me outside, clears my head, and even burns some calories.

So, what do you think about walking vs running?

By Amanda Rogers for Surepoint Medical Centers

Amanda Rogers is a freelance writer based in Fort Worth, Texas

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