Is it better to walk or run?

Walking is better than running, except when running is better than walking.

Is this a joke? Nope. It’s science. And I get it. Sometimes that happens. Two studies contradict one another. But there’s a catch. The headline that touts running over walking AND the other that promotes walking instead of running are based on the same dataset.

Yeah, about that…

I was curious about this run or walk debate so I went Sherlock Holmes on the research. Save yourself the effort, it’s not really that interesting. As it turns out, running and walking are both good for you. Surprise!

Runners rejoice, you get more done in less time than walkers. But, wait a second walkers, stride for stride you’re reducing the risk of heart disease at a higher rate than runners. Now for the important stuff. What does this mean for you?

There are a few things to consider.

1. Don’t believe everything you read. Dig a little deeper. Science and statistics can be twisted to fit almost any situation.

2. Don’t overthink exercise. Running and walking are both better than sitting on your ass. If you can’t run or don’t like to run, go for a walk. When you do, go a little bit further or walk more frequently throughout the week. Walking is less intense, so if you’re trying to lose weight or become more fit you have to put in more time.

3. Don’t do either. Running hurts my knees and walking is boring. Okay. Replace running and walking with another form of exercise. Swim, bike, row, or hike. Take up strength training and get some high intensity moves into the mix – burpees, kettlebell swings, plyometrics, jump rope, box jumps.

Still have questions about this article, or anything else for that matter? Email me – joe@thehybridathlete.com.