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Is Walking as Good a Workout as Running?

By Katie Koerner
6/5/2013 9:22:05 AM

There are many reasons why people start running: to stay slim, boost energy, or snag that treadmill next to our longtime gym crush (please follow our gym etiquette tips before making any moves though!). Running can help keep the heart healthy, improve mood, and stave off sickness; plus recent studies have found running is a great way to lose and maintain weight. But research suggests going full speed isn't the only route to good health.

Photo by Justin Singh

Now Walk (or Run?) It Out - The Need-to-Know

While walking can provide many of the same health benefits associated with running, recent research suggests running may be the better bet for those looking to shed some pounds. Unsurprisingly, people expend two-and-a-half times more energy running than walking, whether that's on the track or on the treadmill. So for a 160-lb person, running burns about 800 calories an hour compared to about 300 calories walking. And that equates to a pretty sizeable slice of pizza (who doesn't love cheat day rewards?).

More interesting, a recent study found that even when runners and walkers expended equal amounts of energy (meaning walkers spent more time exercising and covered greater distances), runners still lost more weight. Not only did the runners begin the study slimmer than the walkers; they also had a better chance of maintaining their BMI and waist circumference.

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