A lot of us are conditioned to believe that running is the best form of cardio for weight loss, but, in reality, it isn’t necessarily better than walking when it comes to dropping numbers on the scale. That sweaty, tired feeling you get after a nice long jog can be extremely satisfying because you know and feel your hard work. But, you can work just as hard walking, and it will not damage your body the way running will.
Why is walking just as effective as running for weight loss? It's because burning calories isn’t all there is to it. Running, along with other cardio exercises, allows you to burn calories from muscle and fat – resulting in an overall decrease of muscle mass. However, when you’re trying to lose weight, muscle mass is good to have. Your muscles are metabolic and allow you to burn more calories. Walking, on the other hand, allows for your body to choose which calories to burn.
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Have you noticed that you are far more hungry after a run vs a long walk? Running results in bigger food cravings due to a hormone called cortisol, produced by your body when you run. Enhanced food cravings result in order to compensate for the calories that were recently burned, and you end up eating more calories than you lost! When you walk, your body decreases its level of cortisol, allowing for a more regulated calorie intake. At the same time, your body becomes more sensitive to insulin – which ends up helping with calorie burning during other exercises as well.
Something else to take into consideration when trying to lose weight is taking care of your body. Running can have a negative impact on your joints, especially your knees. Walking is proven to be an effective alternative – just be sure to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle!
I prefer to do a bit of both. My "running" is more of a light jog, and I mix it with walking to be gentle on my knees.
Are you a runner or a walker?
Khyrunnessa Rabbani - I am perfectly imperfect! Passionate believer if you love your body and yourself and the rest will fall into place.