Doctors and public health authorities recommend 2.5-5 hours of moderate activity or one hour 15 minutes to one hour 40 minutes of vigorous, each and every week. There are a variety of ways to get in this exercise, such as biking, playing football, and hitting up the gym. But you can also work out without any equipment beyond your workout clothes and a good pair of shoes, simply by walking or running.
Both are great ways to exercise. Regular walkers and runners have better heart health, stronger bones, and weigh less than people who do not exercise. When you do a cardio workout, you are also boosting your immune system and your mental health. So what are you waiting for? Get out the door so you can get back and relax while playing a few games at your favourite online casino.
Which is better to start?
If you are starting a physical activity, go with walking as it is accessible to all fitness levels and body types. If you are overweight or have a chronic health condition, it is better to ease into things while checking with your doctor. It will do your health no good to rush into running and you won’t be motivated to continue if you hurt. You can increase your workout by power walking, walking with a weighted vest, and walking uphill. Then you can move onto running.
Which is better for my goals?
Deciding whether to walk or run really depends on your goals. If you want to burn calories in less time, running is the way to go. You will burn over twice the number of calories in 30 minutes of running as in 30 minutes of walking. This being said, burning the calories is only part of the work if you also want to lose weight. You also must change your diet to reduce the number of calories you are taking in.
If you want to improve your heart health, you would think that running is best since the heart works harder. And this is true if you are limited on time. However, if you have the time to devote to it, studies have proved that walkers who burned the same number of calories in a day as runners have a 9% lower risk of heart disease, while runners had only 4.5%.
Working off some extra weight around the middle? You can walk or run, but you also need to mix in some sprinting segments. This high-intensity interval training (HIIT) works on the visceral fat in the abdomen, changing your metabolism and approaching you to your goal. HIIT can also help you transition from walking to running. You ease into a new running routine, reducing stress on your body and your joints.
How do I choose my sneakers?
Whether you are walking or running the best shoe is the one that fits your foot the best and feels comfortable. And never discount the importance of a good pair of socks to wear with them.
Before going to the store, you should determine which type of foot you have based on the height of your arch. There is a simple test you can do by wetting your feet and then stepping on cardboard or colored paper for about 10 seconds. When you step back off you will see the imprint and can determine if you have a:
- Normal arch – there is a visible curve along the inside of your foot and the heel and toe are connected by a band about half the width of your foot
- Low arch – the print shows most of your foot without much of a curve along the inside
- High arch – there is a very visible curve along the inside and very thin band (or none) connected your heel and toe.
Once you know your arch height, you can then determine your gait, or the way your foot moves when you walk and run. It could be that you touch the ground with the outside of your heel first and then roll inwards (low arch), stay on the outside the whole time (high arch), or touch with a little more of the center of the heel before rolling inwards (normal arch).
Then you should head to the shoe store with an old pair of shoes if you have them. The best sports shoe store will have a salesperson who will ask you about your feet, your plans for your walking or running, and will measure your feet. Some stores even have machines to test how you walk and run. All of this will ensure you walk out the door with the best shoe for you.
Is there a difference between walking and running shoes?
Yes, primarily in two ways. First, runners need a shoe with a flared and built-up heel to provide stability and soften the impact when hitting the ground. Running shoes are designed to handle the shock of 2.5 times your body weight that happens every time your foot hits the ground. Walkers need a flexible forefoot to avoid shin splints. If it’s a good walking shoe, you should be able to easily twist it in the middle and bend the ball of the foot.
Whichever shoe you get though, be sure to keep your sneakers clean. Once you start walking or running multiple times a week, the sweat will start building up. Fighting the bacteria is simple though – simply toss your shoes in the washing machine without their laces in a cool cycle. Wash the laces separately before putting them back in. And if the insoles smell really bad? Toss them in a box with some baking soda and let them sit overnight. You want to keep your shoes in the best condition possible to enjoy your workout!