Walking vs. Jogging vs. Sprinting: Which Is Best For Health?
Obesity is a worldwide problem. Our waistlines are expanding year-on-year, and exercise is more important than ever to avoid nasties like diabetes, heart disease, stroke and high cholesterol. You've probably realised that jogging is good for you, but is walking better, or not? And where does sprinting fit into this?
Which is best for fat loss?
Jogging will get you there quicker, but walking will burn off fat too - depending on how much effort you put in.
At least one study has found that women walking 10,000 steps a day had better body fat levels, weight and endurance than those who managed only 7,500 steps. The women in the study group with healthy BMIs walked the most, whereas the less intense walkers were more likely to be in the overweight category.
Jogging and sprinting burn off fat quickly and lead to lean muscles, which increases metabolism. In turn, a high metabolism leads to greater fat burn.
Which is best for burning calories?
Here is a statistic to mull over:
- An hour's brisk walk at 4.6 mph will burn 270 calories.
- A 30-minute moderate jog at 6mph also burns 270 calories.
So jogging will burn calories faster than walking, but they both work.
However, it is believed that jogging also regulates appetite hormones better than walking. A study indicated that, after exercise, walkers ate 50 calories more than they'd burned off but runners ate 200 calories less than they'd lost.
Which carries the greatest risk of injury & why?
Walking is the safest, so long as you don't trip over. Jogging and sprinting can stress the body and increase the risk of hamstring injury, runner's knee and shin splints, though in general all three are safe activities.
Some research from the US indicates that, in the long term, walking is the safest activity.
Dr O'Keefe, in a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, claims that sometimes exercise is detrimental to health. He found that those who run most days at over 7 miles per hour have the same risk of death as people who are sedentary. He believes that after 60 minutes of intense exercise the heart chambers stretch and muscles can't cope.
Over-exercising may also lead to a lowered immune system. A study from the University of Illinois found that intense, prolonged activity increased inflammatory proteins and allowed viruses to breed. An excuse to walk rather than run if you needed one!
Which is best for building muscle?
On the other hand, jogging and sprinting build more muscles than walking as they stimulate the human growth hormone that contributes to lean muscle mass. No walking, jogging or sprinting will build large muscles though, for that you need weight training.
Which is best for people with asthma?
All are safe if asthma is properly controlled. Those starting out with exercise should stick with walking and build up to jogging. Avoid cold days and high pollen counts if you have asthma, and always carry an inhaler no matter how fit you are.
What's the right way walk, jog and sprint?
The most important advice to remember is that you must listen to your body. If something hurts whilst walking, jogging or sprinting, then stop. To prevent injuries such as pulled muscles, you should always warm up and cool down.
Winner: All three... pick the one that suits you!
All three activities are good for your health and will help you lose weight, but jogging will speed up the process.
Depending on your level of ability and preferences you can choose one that suits, or use fast walking as an introduction to jogging and sprinting.
Whatever you do, with effort you'll reap the rewards of better health and fitness. Numerous studies show that regular exercise leads to reduced hypertension risks, lower cholesterol and a lower risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.