Last week I read a funny post by Slummy Single Mummy with the title “9 good(ish) reasons to give up running”. I clocked this post via my email subscription and I simply couldn’t resist clicking on the link and reading it… I just had to know what these reasons might be…
And you know what? It really made me feel better to know that I am not the only one who feels like this about running. I hate running too! It always makes me feel bad when I see all those promo spots with runners… it looks so easy and it looks almost totally effortless… I know from experience that it is not! So stop showing all the clips that make it look so easy… All this pretty looking runners… bah… they do not exist in the real world… I know, I have looked for them…
Anyhow… this has got my thinking… there must be an easier alternative to running… surprise, surprise… yes there is… it is called WALKING!
So I set myself a challenge to find out if walking can out benefit running…
To my huge surprise they do offer more or less the same benefits.
Walking apparently is better for:
Your immune system – running can stress it out, especially long distance running
Your heart – again long distance running can lead to elevated serum markers for cardiac stress
Your joints – running is stressing out our joints too much, which might lead to an increased risk of injuries and osteoarthritis in later life.
Running wins hands down when it comes to fat burning… but to help offset this difference we can simply walk a bit faster for longer 🙂
I also found out a few other interesting facts about walking:
Walking prevents type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Prevention Program showed that walking 150 minutes per week and losing just 7% of your body weight (12-15 pounds) can reduce your risk of diabetes by 58%.*
Walking is good for your brain. In a study on walking and cognitive function, researchers found that women who walked the equivalent of an easy pace at least 1.5 hours per week had significantly better cognitive function and less cognitive decline than women who walked less than 40 minutes per week.*
Walking helps alleviate symptoms of depression. Walking for 30 minutes, three to five times per week for 12 weeks reduced symptoms of depression as measured with a standard depression questionnaire by 47%.*
So for me walking is the winner!
It doesn’t make me sweat like a horse, at least most of the time; is doesn’t cost so much and I can do it without any huge preparations or long notice…
All you need for walking is time and willingness… that’s it!
Yes, you can get a nice pair of walking shoes so you are more comfortable; you can get a walking pole if you want to try so called Nordic Walking and yes, you can get a pedometer… the last one I would actually recommend if for nothing else it can provide you with interesting data about your walking habits.
Lately I have been using a 4×3 motion digital 3D pedometer from Ozeri. Truly it is an incredible tool. It measures my steps (after setting it to my stride), distance covered, time spent and calories burned (yes, you have to share your weight with it). This is not the first pedometer in our household but it is the first we feel that actually works and does the job it is supposed to do. And to make things easier you are not required to keep it on your hip / waist / belt at all times. It has a clever 3D sensor which works in any position, so attach the lanyard as provided and simply wear it around your neck. Great little tool if you like to keep the score of things.
So what do you think? Walking or running?
While you think about that I will share with you some non-health related walking facts.
Given that the world is about 25,000 miles in circumference and that the average walking rate is 3 miles per hour, it would take a person walking nonstop approximately 347 days to walk around the world.**
The average human walking speed is about 3.1 miles per hour, or 5.0 kilometres per hour.**
And, one more for you; this one is scary when you think about it…
It would take, on average, 1 hour and 43 minutes of walking to burn off a 540-calorie Big Mac.**