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    To walk or run?

    We all know that physical exercise is great for a number of reasons but within the world of exercise, there is a difference of opinion about which is more beneficial, walking or running? Which is the better exercise and which provides the most benefit? Here at the Fuerte Blog, we’ve set out to find out.

    Before going into the whys and wherefores, let’s first define the two exercises. When we talk about walking, we do not mean a leisurely stroll round the streets looking at shop windows. While that may be a very pleasant way to spend the day, it is not the exercise that will make your heart beat faster. In general terms, for physical exercise to be effective, it is recommended that the exercise should be continuous for at least 20 minutes.

    In fact many experts think that golf, where players often walk between 6 and 8 kilometres in one session, is not an ideal cardio exercise due to the fact that the player has to keep stopping to contemplate his/her shot. Therefore when people say that a game of golf spoils a good walk, they are more right than they know. In this context, walking becomes a healthy cardiovascular activity when it refers to a brisk pace at about 4 to 5 km per hour, which will last a minimum of 50 to 60 minutes.

    Running, Not Sprinting!

    With respect to running or jogging, there are also one or two things to clarify. We are not talking about sprinting 100 metres in 9,75 seconds a la Usain Bolt nor are we talking about a fast 5000 or 10000 metre in the style of Mo Farah. It is running at a continuous, but comfortable speed, without putting extra strain on one’s leg muscles or heart. Also you don’t have to run as long as you would walk. Generally, about 30 minutes would be sufficient to equal an hour of walking.

    Below, we have included a section of an article published by Andy Burford in Runner’s World Magazine, which you may find interesting. In this excerpt, he compares calories burnt in both exercises – a topic we discussed in an earlier post.

    Table A: Calories Burned Per 1-Mile (1.6km) Walk vs. 1-Mile Run For A 156lb (70 kilos) Person

                                                                  WALK*           RUN**

    CALS/MILE                                       88.9               112.5

    CALS/MINUTE                                4.78               11.25

    A walk of a mile in 18.36 min. = Run a mile in 10.00 mins

    Clearly, running burns more than twice as many calories per minute (11.25) as walking (4.78) and this difference increases when you consider the after-burn. For those who find this term foreign, it means the calories you burn in active rest after exercise.

    However, you have to be careful about the way you apply the after-burn. You only get one after-burn per workout, not one per mile. So if you run 5 miles, your after-burn might still be just 46.1 calories (or minimally higher). You don’t get to multiply 5 * 158.6 calories/mile, which would yield 793 calories burned. Instead, you should multiply 5 *112.5, and then add 46.1. That yields 608.6.

    It’s probably best just to multiply your Total Miles * 112.5, and consider the after-burn a nice little bonus. To increase your bonus, run faster during your workout. One recent study showed that a medium-difficult workout could produce 190 after-burn calories in the following 14 hours.

    The 15 Truths about running and walking


    AFTER-BURN/MILE                      21.7                46.1

    NEW TOTAL/MILE                       110.6              158.6

    CALS/MINUTE                                 5.95              15.86

    The four myths about running and walking

    In conclusions, it doesn’t really matter what you decide to do. What is important is that you practice physical exercise that you enjoy and do regularly.

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