Thinking about starting an inexpensive workout routine but aren’t sure whether walking or running is right for you?
“I think the bottom line is it’s important that people are active,” Dr. Porter says. “If they want to walk, great. If they run, it’s great and probably even better.”
That’s because running burns, on average, about 2.5 times the number of calories per hour than walking.
“You’re definitely going to burn more calories running than walking in shorter periods of time,” Dr. Porter says. “If your goal is to maintain or lose weight, from a practical standpoint, you’ll get more bang for the buck.”
He also notes that one study found those who run tend to consume fewer calories after their activity than those who walk.
As far as whether running can cause long-term joint issues, that’s up in the air.
“There is no definite evidence that running causes osteoarthritis,” Dr. Porter says. “But there is evidence that excess weight on joints contributes to osteoarthritis.”
But if your joints already hurt enough to keep you from running, don’t fret. Studies have shown that even moderate walking can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression and some cancers.
Dr. Porter’s best option for a workout routine? A little bit of everything.
“Mixing it up is probably the best solution,” Dr. Porter says. Do some cycling, some swimming, some walking, some running. Cross-training is best for your overall health.”