Running V. Walking: Weight Loss

Source: Fotosearch

Source: Fotosearch

I hate running. As a curvaceous female, running is the enemy. However, thanks to my decent stamina and black lab, I’m used to going on four mile walks without any problems. Despite being in good health, I constantly hear that running is ultimately the better of the two exercises. Needless to say, this was an opportunity to find out. Note: before doing my research, I prayed there is no difference between walking and running.

In an article from the New York Times by Gretchen Reynolds, she discusses how many people typically walk or run for exercise. As well, that there are many studies that have conflicting views on which is better. However, it is revealed in her article that it truly depends on what your personal fitness goals are as to which is better. So, if your goal is to slim down, running will be better for you. Reynolds cites a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. They surveyed several thousand runners and walkers. Those who participated were asked about their weight, diet, distance they typically walked or ran, and so on both at the start of the study and several years later. Runners as a whole were thinner and maintained their figures better than walkers. The reason for this isn’t simply the amount of calories burned; because eventually you can burn as many calories walking as you can running. Reynolds cites another study, published in The Journal of Obesity, that took nine runners and ten walkers and decided to see how their exercises affected their appetites. The walkers ate around fifty calories more than they burned from exercise, while the runners ate around two hundred calories less than they burned from their exercise. The study shows that this was probably due to the runners having a much higher levels of the hormone peptide YY. This is a hormone that curbs hunger.

So long story short, if you’re trying to shed those extra pounds you’ve added on because of the creamery, or lack of self control, running is ultimately what is going to help you lose the weight.

Sources: Is It Better to Walk or Run?

6 thoughts on “Running V. Walking: Weight Loss

  1. Jessica Heckler

    I can also say that running its not my favorite thing to do. After playing soccer competitively for many years, where we ran constantly, I have been enjoying my time off, but I have also been wondering just how long I can continue not to run without gaining weight. I talked myself into believing that since I’m walking everywhere on campus and am doing way more walking than I did before I came here that my new walking habits would make up for my lack of running. Thanks to this article though, I am now informed that I was wrong and I should not be substituting walking all around campus for my almost daily jogs before. It all makes a lot of sense though. Of course one will burn more calories running because they are exerting more energy. I guess I’ll have to go back to running. Ugh.
    Even though running is better when compared to walking, walking still has many benefits for your health so I encourage you to keep walking and staying active! Every little bit helps! This article shows how walking 10,000 steps a day helps you lead a healthy lifestyle, and it turns out that walking actually does have a lot of benefits to our everyday health, especially as we get older! 10,000 steps, or about 5 miles, everyday will keep you healthy and keep you off the couch!

  2. Brandon Ross Armitt

    Coming into college and having the Freshman 15 float overtop of your head is really something that should motivated you to work out, whether thats walking or running. When people first come to Penn State and realize how much they have to walk, they think thats enough to offset the calories gained from eating all the food. But in reality, walking isn’t nearly as productive as walking if your looking to slim down while here. Personally, I believe that every student needs to get out and workout in a gym or outside at least three times a week. Doing this would definitely cut down on the weight gained my the freshman and ultimately make themselves feel better about there bodies.

    Attached is a link that compares how many calories one would burn while running vs. jogging:

  3. Nathan O'brien

    Wow I’ve been wondering whether walking compared in any way to running for quite some time now. In high school I ran cross country and ran probably about 6 miles a day. Since I’ve gotten to college I haven’t run at all, but I’ve been walking literally 8+ miles a day because I live in east halls. When it comes to exercise, I personally would chose running because to me it seems as though you can burn more calories and get more done in a shorter period of time compared to walking. I think there are a lot of considerations that must be made regarding which type is better. Not to contradict your post, but I found multiple studies that show running to be more influential on weight loss than walking.
    Either way I think both running and walking can be good for you . They both have pro’s and con’s to them.

  4. Peter Bott

    One of my best friends used to be a sponsored bodybuilder. He used to swear up and down to me that walking around 4 miles per hour at a steady incline on a tread mill was the best way to burn fat. He always said if you run you will be burning carbs, but if you walk your heart rate stays at the perfect level to burn fat. This led me to do a little research (hoping to prove him wrong) but it turns out that walking is the best way to burn fat but running is the best for burning more calories, which would result in a more significant weight loss. Each serves their own purpose!

  5. Gulianna E Garry

    I actually just came back from the gym before reading this blog. I hate running – I always huff and puff when trying to get my miles in on the treadmill. I wish walking had the same effect as running does, but after reading this blog it obviously does not. Unlike me, I know some people love to run and often acquire a runner’s high. What is a runner’s high? According to Runners World , a runner’s high occurs when one has been running for at least a two hour period. A part of the brain begins to give out a happy emotion which allows someone to feel a natural high.

  6. Parker Jax Yochim

    I wonder if there is a certain distance you can walk that would carry a similar effect to running say three miles. Moreover, as a runner myself, I wonder if running really does decrease appetite in most people or just a select few. Often times after a run I am insatiably hungry, which has always led me to believe that running works up an appetite.
    I’ve attached a link to a TED Talk by Christopher McDougall on running, some what unrelated but still very interesting. Its about a tribe in Mexico that can run extreme distances for long periods of time, it theorizes that humans may be the best natural born runners in the world (animals included of course).

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