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running vs. walking

by (499)
Updated about 1 hour ago
Created November 16, 2012 at 2:39 AM

So I come from a background where every day I would run for 3 miles then follow it up with a half hour of weight lifting. This has caused me to hate my workout routine. I want to switch to walking because I've heard that it is better for fat loss. I've also heard that running is not good for us. Should I switch from running three miles every morning to walking three miles every morning and then follow it up with weight lifting? If so, then why, in other words, what are the benefits of walking over running? Also, if you have some research that could back your answer up, that would be great! Thanks so much in advance

Medium avatar
10184 · November 17, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Get yourself some Hellys, a slicker and a pair of Mucks and go outside.

Medium avatar
10184 · November 17, 2012 at 4:08 PM

I will say this: the sidewalks where I live in the USA are empty. I picked up the habit living in France. My company gave me a Corsa to use, but I was so amazed by the place that I couldn't stop walking. If I took a slight diversion I could see how the grapes were doing at Haut Brion. I got very familiar with the world of Mauriac, from Talence down to the Cimitiere Chartreuse. Watch the film Bon Voyage - Bordeaux hasn't changed much in the last 100 years.

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4059 · November 17, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Interesting answer- "you need sustained slow movement through the day, even if all that means is standing more than you sit, taking stairs instead of elevators, etc etc." Thank you for reminding me- I know this works, and I forget and sit around too much, especially as the days get shorter and it rains all the time.

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11478 · November 16, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Who'd imagine? Walking as a mode of transportation? I'm surprised they haven't deported you for that kind of crazy attitude.

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11478 · November 16, 2012 at 6:51 PM

To be fair, if your knees crunch, then you obviously shouldn't run. I run for transportation as well as exercise. I was running at 310lbs and I'm running at 240lbs. Maybe I'm just lucky.

Medium avatar
10184 · November 16, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Having your knees sound like crunching potato chips moves you away from running for exercise. Besides which, doing something as exercise is different from doing something to get somewhere. The motivator is not the same.

Medium avatar
10184 · November 16, 2012 at 5:23 PM

Walking as part of your life...I've come to view it as my primary mode of transportation. "Why walk when you can drive?" has been replaced by "Why drive when you can walk?". I get about 300 miles per gallon of oil I consume it, and unlike my car I've gotten some enjoyment out of eating that oil.

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26182 · November 16, 2012 at 4:38 PM

cannot imagine being 15 (with all that youthful energy) and stuck for 4 months. I had a grade 2 quad tear when I was 17, told to take 8 weeks off and I was playing soccer that weekend!

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14877 · November 16, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Yeah, dude. I broke my back snowboarding when I was 15, and couldn't run (or do much of anything, really) for 4 months. I couldn't even stand being around myself during that time.

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26182 · November 16, 2012 at 3:39 PM

I should also mention that I find running, especially hard running, very therapeutic. When I was recovering from injury and couldn't run for over 16 weeks I definitely felt more stressed out over small stuff. So the therapeutic benefit of running is as important as the exercise -- and if you hate running don't do it -- it is not necessary.

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14877 · November 16, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Great answer. Both have their own efficacy. Things are rarely "either...or..."

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3347 · November 16, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Yeah I run because I like to run but I lost 60 pounds by walking not running (I wasn't about to run when I was that heavy). If I didn't enjoy running I wouldn't even think of doing it.

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454 · November 16, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Chronic cardio is highly individual, based on how high your heart rate gets and how long you keep it there. It depends on how fast you are running and how fit you are.

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41471 · November 16, 2012 at 12:59 PM

3 mile runs, even daily, aren't chronic cardio in my opinion. In this day and age, regular exercise needs to supplement our collective declining activity.

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11478 · November 16, 2012 at 7:33 AM

Full disclaimer, I'm a 20 mile a week runner / cardio bunny. Harris is the same I think.

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26182 · November 16, 2012 at 3:29 PM

If you follow the Sisson plan, he encourages walking, or very light jogging as opposed to chronic cardio -- but his plan also includes sprinting once a week and 3-4 full body strength sessions a week...

Walking works in that scenario because you are getting the muscle adaptations from your other activities, and the walking is essentially giving you Flexibility and Recovery while keeping you active.

Personally I have 2 hard runs a week (1 sprint session between 100m and 400m; 1 Tempo run -- 30-40 minutes at max effort coupled with 10 minutes warm up/cool down), 2 hard lifts a week, a long run, and 2 recovery runs. That's 5 days a week and 20-30 miles per week.

Walking, in my life, is something I do anyways. We walk as a family before/after dinner (depending on light), walk to the store (a mile away), etc. I do not consider it part of my exercise, just part of my life.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d
11478 · November 16, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Who'd imagine? Walking as a mode of transportation? I'm surprised they haven't deported you for that kind of crazy attitude.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc
14877 · November 16, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Great answer. Both have their own efficacy. Things are rarely "either...or..."

Medium avatar
10184 · November 16, 2012 at 5:23 PM

Walking as part of your life...I've come to view it as my primary mode of transportation. "Why walk when you can drive?" has been replaced by "Why drive when you can walk?". I get about 300 miles per gallon of oil I consume it, and unlike my car I've gotten some enjoyment out of eating that oil.

Medium avatar
10184 · November 17, 2012 at 4:08 PM

I will say this: the sidewalks where I live in the USA are empty. I picked up the habit living in France. My company gave me a Corsa to use, but I was so amazed by the place that I couldn't stop walking. If I took a slight diversion I could see how the grapes were doing at Haut Brion. I got very familiar with the world of Mauriac, from Talence down to the Cimitiere Chartreuse. Watch the film Bon Voyage - Bordeaux hasn't changed much in the last 100 years.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
26182 · November 16, 2012 at 4:38 PM

cannot imagine being 15 (with all that youthful energy) and stuck for 4 months. I had a grade 2 quad tear when I was 17, told to take 8 weeks off and I was playing soccer that weekend!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc
14877 · November 16, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Yeah, dude. I broke my back snowboarding when I was 15, and couldn't run (or do much of anything, really) for 4 months. I couldn't even stand being around myself during that time.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
26182 · November 16, 2012 at 3:39 PM

I should also mention that I find running, especially hard running, very therapeutic. When I was recovering from injury and couldn't run for over 16 weeks I definitely felt more stressed out over small stuff. So the therapeutic benefit of running is as important as the exercise -- and if you hate running don't do it -- it is not necessary.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d
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11478 · November 16, 2012 at 7:32 AM

If you hate it then that's all the reason that you need to switch.

I haven't seen an compelling evidence that "running is not good for us", certainly not in the 15 miles a week range. Kurt Harris talks about several studies that show that active marathon runners (those who run 5 marathons or more in 3 years) have a significantly increased occurance of LGE anomolies which "might" indicate arterial damage, and others that demostrate a high rate of mortality in marathon runners.

Harris speculates: "I think that not only does sustained "cardio" not protect you from atherosclerosis, I think it is quite likely that through repetitive shear stress with endothelial damage and promotion of an inflammatory state, that it may promote atherosclerosis and/or direct cardiac muscle damage."

He also observes that runners eat the most horrible diet of refined carbohydrates possible, and that this could also be causal factor in heart disease.

  1. At 15 miles a week you aren't doing anywhere near the same amound of cardio as people who are running at least a marathon a year for 3 years.
  2. I'd hope you weren't fuelling 3 mile runs with lots of refined carbohydrates, because that just isn't necessary.
  3. Walking is great, and is obviously much lower impact than running, but it takes a lot longer to exert the same sort of effort (burn the same amount of calories). You'd have to walk for longer to get the same sort of "benefit" (if there is any benefit at all).

None of this matters, you hate running, so there isn't a compelling reason to do it.

Medium avatar
10184 · November 16, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Having your knees sound like crunching potato chips moves you away from running for exercise. Besides which, doing something as exercise is different from doing something to get somewhere. The motivator is not the same.

59fa7cd87fb9d669adf21e5cf3e7ada5
3347 · November 16, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Yeah I run because I like to run but I lost 60 pounds by walking not running (I wasn't about to run when I was that heavy). If I didn't enjoy running I wouldn't even think of doing it.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d
11478 · November 16, 2012 at 7:33 AM

Full disclaimer, I'm a 20 mile a week runner / cardio bunny. Harris is the same I think.

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d
11478 · November 16, 2012 at 6:51 PM

To be fair, if your knees crunch, then you obviously shouldn't run. I run for transportation as well as exercise. I was running at 310lbs and I'm running at 240lbs. Maybe I'm just lucky.

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2978 · November 16, 2012 at 2:55 PM

I am sure this is very individual, will just say that I've had far better results with slow movement (yoga, walking, etc) than high impact. I'm a calorie counter (not popular around here, I know!) and my n=1 research shows that I can eat more calories (which is my personal goal, I'm no longer trying to lose weight) with regular, slow movement and very little sitting than I can with the sorts of high impact activities I used to do. I've totally given up tabatas, and was glad to see them go.

I don't think it's a simple matter of how many calories the activity burns, although obviously that matters too. But for me, it seems like if I move enough (and again, spend as little time sitting as possible) my metabolism functions at a higher level.

But would not think that just switching to a morning walk instead of a morning run would do the trick -- you need sustained slow movement through the day, even if all that means is standing more than you sit, taking stairs instead of elevators, etc etc.

Medium avatar
10184 · November 17, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Get yourself some Hellys, a slicker and a pair of Mucks and go outside.

C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8
4059 · November 17, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Interesting answer- "you need sustained slow movement through the day, even if all that means is standing more than you sit, taking stairs instead of elevators, etc etc." Thank you for reminding me- I know this works, and I forget and sit around too much, especially as the days get shorter and it rains all the time.

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454 · November 16, 2012 at 2:44 AM

i vote walking. read into mark sisson's theories on chronic cardio vs moving frequently at a slow pace.

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41471 · November 16, 2012 at 12:59 PM

3 mile runs, even daily, aren't chronic cardio in my opinion. In this day and age, regular exercise needs to supplement our collective declining activity.

7b20db75b09540914bd0c852e868a9d6
454 · November 16, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Chronic cardio is highly individual, based on how high your heart rate gets and how long you keep it there. It depends on how fast you are running and how fit you are.

Medium avatar
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10184 · November 16, 2012 at 4:36 PM

I used to run but it beat up my knees. I blame this on running on roads - hard surfaces and the crown causing uneven impact. Walking takes more time but is not as painful. The only big problems have been dry heels and Achilles tendon swelling. Using a walking staff helps alleviate that stress.

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619 · November 17, 2012 at 2:15 PM

I would not combine running and lifting the way you are. In my experience, the recoveries to each stress are more productive if you let your body react to one metabolic stress at a time. Definitely scale down the lifting on running days, and lift heavier or super-set on non-running days. Don't be afraid to run for longer distances more slowly, low stress.

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257 · November 16, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Why do the same thing every morning? You could cut the runs down to 3 a week and try slower activities on the other days.

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