Is Running Or Walking Better For Your Body?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adding regular physical activity to your routine is one of the best things you can do for your health. Working out is great for the mind and the body, and adding any form of cardiovascular exercise, such as running or walking every day, will improve your fitness level. The benefits of cardio exercise include increased blood circulation, better blood sugar control, and an overall happier mood (via WebMD). But how do you choose whether walking or running is better for your body? "There are a lot of factors that will decide which would be 'better' and they're mostly specific to the individual," Steve Stonehouse, director of education for STRIDE, told Well + Good. For example, running may be better if you have less time. Conversely, if you have joint issues, walking may be better.

According to Healthline, running and walking have a lot of the same benefits. Running can burn twice as many calories as walking, and you might benefit from taking up running if your main goal is weight loss. Running is a more vigorous exercise overall, while walking is typically low-to-moderate intensity by nature.

Neither workout is necessarily better than the other, but one might work better for you depending on your health and preference. A study published by the National Institutes of Health showed that even 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise can reduce depression and anxiety. So, are you ready to put on those walking or running shoes?

Running and walking are both great for our overall health

The Mayo Clinic recommends getting about 150 minutes of moderate cardio exercise each week. It's better to do some form of exercise than none, so if you're trying to decide whether running or walking is better for you, here are some things to consider. According to WebMD, if you're just starting to exercise, walking is better for you. Walking is a low-impact workout, so if you have bad knees or are prone to injuries, walking might be a safer option, too. For example, a study published at Harvard Health Publishing showed that walkers are less likely to have workout-related injuries than runners. Walking can help you lose weight, too. You can walk on an incline, wear a weighted vest, or walk with weights on your ankles to speed up your weight loss (via Healthline).

Since walking is less vigorous and burns fewer calories, you will need to walk longer and more frequently to get the same benefits as running. If you're recovering from an injury, walking is much safer for you, and if you're working out for better body mechanics, running should be your go-to. Still, both running and walking positively impact your overall health (via Well + Good). "Being active improves quality of life, and both running and walking can help improve your mood, build self-confidence, and help you deal with stress," Charge running coach Betsy Magato also told Well + Good. So, which do you prefer?