Walking VS Running: Which Is Better for Weight Loss?

You might be looking for the right way to lose that weight, and you can’t figure out what suits you better, walking or running. Both walking and running don’t require you to have an efficiency towards sports in general, nor any talent for it. All you need to do is get up, put on your walking or running shoes, and get those muscles working.

This article will discuss the pros and cons of walking vs. running for weight loss, so you can make sure that you are doing everything you can to lose weight efficiently.

A Definition of Walking and Running

Walking is a form of transportation. It is slower than running, and it is one of the main gaits of terrestrial locomotion (any type of animal movement). It’s how the body vaults over the stiff limb(s) with every step we take. So regardless of how many limbs we have, we can walk.

Running is also a form of transportation, allowing humans and animals to rapidly move from point A to point B. It is also terrestrial locomotion where both feet are above the ground simultaneously. In contrast, while walking, one foot is always on the ground, being pulled down by gravity.

Both forms of transport are a gateway to not only weight loss but to your ideal body. However, there are arguments for and against walking vs. running for weight loss, and there are some factors to consider. So make sure to gather all thoughts from our pros and cons list below before getting into either one.

Walking Pros and Cons

Pros of Walking

  • Easy and Cheap

If you are looking for the most accessible form of weight loss, walking is for you. You don’t need some expensive heart monitor or the latest model of running shoes. All you need to do is put on comfortable shoes for walking and go outside. Also, anyone can walk.

  • Easy on the Joints

Walking has proven to be much easier on the joints and soft tissues than running. Walking is a low-impact exercise and much harder to sustain injury.

  • Burns More Fat

One of the main things to consider when you want to lose weight is losing unnecessary fat. Walking helps burn fat much more efficiently than running and maintains a healthy weight in the process.

  • Low-Impact

A few walks a week can help you start your fitness journey to your ideal body type. Since it is low impact, it can be suitable for people with injuries and disabilities. Also, it is recommended for rehabilitation from injuries as well.

Cons of Walking

  • Low-Impact

Walking may not yield to all of your weight loss desires, especially for someone who has dipped their toes into running or other high-impact training. Walking may activate every muscle, but it does that at a much slower pace. So if you are looking for a quicker fix, walking might be too slow for you.

  • Burns Fewer Calories

You might have heard from fitness experts that cardio is essential for healthy weight loss, which you can best get from running. For example, according to the American Council on Exercise, a person who weighs 160 pounds can burn 15.1 calories per minute running, but only 8.7 calories per minute walking.

  • You Have to Add More Workouts

Walking is a great way to start if you are just beginning your journey to a healthy body. However, sooner or later, you will have to add some other types of workouts to your routine that have a higher impact than walking. In contrast, committed runners don’t have to buy a gym membership if they don’t want to add to their workout.

Running Pros and Cons

Pros of Running

  • Burn More Calories

While walking dominates fat burning, running is easily the winner for burning calories. Not to say that walking can’t burn any calories, but running does it faster and burns more calories than walking does. For example, someone who is 160 pounds and runs for 5 miles in an hour can burn up to 606 calories, while someone who is walking for the same amount of time can only burn 314 calories. In addition, you can use a running app to track your progress on weight loss.

  • Better Sleep

There are many benefits to running that are connected to weight loss. While we sleep, our body gets the right amount of rest so that our sore muscles can recover for the next day. So after a long run, it is an amazing feeling just to have the best night’s sleep. This also reduces stress and benefits your mental health, a critical factor in weight loss.

  • No Other Exercises Necessary

Running activates most of the muscles in your body to their full extent. Make sure that while you are trying to lose belly fat, you are working your arms and legs, eliminating the need to go to the gym for extra training. All you need to do is put on your running shoes run outdoors or on a treadmill.

  • Better Cardio

Running is known to elevate your heart rate, preventing you from getting heart problems, but with better cardio, you can also boost your immune system by 43%. This doesn’t mean that you can’t go to the gym while having an active running schedule; it just means that you don’t have to visit a gym to get your ideal workout.

Cons of Running

  • You Can Get Injured While Running

Running can be a very dangerous sport. Depending on whether you prefer running outside or on a treadmill, it can lead to numerous injuries. Knee, ankle, and foot injuries are the most common. You can also push yourself too hard, leading to nausea and other stomach problems.

  • Intense Workout

Suppose you just decided to work out regularly. If that’s the case, running might be too intense for you, especially if you are a beginner or used to a more sedentary lifestyle. On the other hand, you can always change your routine once your body gets used to the workouts.

  • It Burns Less Fat

Running burns much less fat than walking since walking requires more fuel than running.

To Sum Up the Pros and Cons

To sum up the pros and cons of walking vs. running for weight loss, we have prepared an infographic for you.

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How to Decide Between Walking and Running

Walking and running are great ways to lose weight and gain a healthy body. The benefits and risks solely depend on your goals and expectations. Since both activities improve your health and body, how can you choose?

Walk if:

  • You are worried about joint injuries.
  • You want a steady workout routine.
  • You want to burn more fat.
  • You want a more relaxed experience.
  • You want an exercise on the go.
  • You want low-impact training to get you started.
  • You are a beginner.

Run if:

  • You want faster results.
  • You want to gain stamina.
  • You want to burn more calories.
  • You want better sleep.
  • You don’t want to add more exercises to your training.

Final Thoughts on Walking vs. Running for Weight Loss

Both walking and running are great forms of cardio exercise. Walking can be a wise choice if you are a beginner and don’t want to jump into running. But if you want to lose calories faster without adding any other type of workout to your routine, running is much more efficient for you.

We have other articles on running that cover the problems that arise while running in the heat and motivational mantras that help you run. Make sure that you check them out as well.

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