Walking and running are considered among the best aerobic activities in terms of a total body workout for physical fitness and weight loss.
Though both the activities stress on the use of large muscles in our body in order to get the desired results, people get confused when choosing between these two. When making a choice, one has to take certain points of distinction between them into consideration.
Speed walking, also referred to as power walking or race walking, is actually a long distance athletic event, wherein individuals are expected to walk according to the stipulated guidelines of the sport.
More recently, it has found a place for itself in the long list of aerobic activities for physical fitness and weight loss. Considering that it is easy to execute and has fewer risks compared to various forms of running, speed walking has come up as one of the most popular aerobic activities among people of various age groups today.
Most popular versions of running are jogging, wherein a considerable distance is covered in a long span of time, and sprint, wherein one is expected to run fast over a short distance.
This form of aerobic activity is more popular among youngsters. The health risks associated with it tend to keep aged people and people with underlying health problems away. However, running also has a series of advantages of its own; some of which easily outweigh the health benefits of walking.
Speed Walking Vs. Running
The most prominent differences between the two are related to the intensity and health risks of these activities. In terms of intensity, running has an edge over speed walking. If the calories burnt are taken into consideration, even the slowest form of running, i.e., jogging, burns as much calories as burned by speed walking in the same duration.
The impact of these aerobic activities is directly proportional to their intensity. Speed walking, being slower, has a low impact on the body, while running, being faster, has a high impact. This also means that running has the tendency of demonstrating the desired effects in a short time as compared to speed walking.
As far as health risks are concerned, speed walking does take an upper hand over running. Studies have revealed that the people who take to running are more vulnerable to certain health risks than those who take to speed walking.
While running, an individual is more likely to exert himself, which may result in injuries like burnout. Similarly, studies have also revealed that people who take to running for a prolonged duration are more likely to suffer from problems associated with knee joints and other joints in the leg due to the excessive wear and tear that they are subjected to.
That, however, doesn't mean speed walking is totally injury free. Irrespective of which form of exercise you take to, the rule of the thumb is to increase its intensity gradually and undergo proper warm up before starting the activity.
At the end of the day, you realize that both have their own pros and cons. While running can result in some adverse effects on various joints of the body, speed walking is a low intensity workout which will take some time to show results.
That being said, it will depend on the individual's preference as to which one would suit his health and lifestyle. One has to therefore, take the benefits and risks of both these activities into consideration before coming up with a conclusion.