Why run rather than walk?

Someone asked me that today - my Pilates teacher in fact. I found an answer at the time: 'it makes you slightly puffed out and it's actually easier in some ways to jog-shuffle than to walk, particularly over longer distances ' but am not sure I'm right (except abt the puffed out bit). Any answers?


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14 Replies

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  • It makes you out of puff is I think the right answer. If it's distance you want then a bicycle is better. Walking is better if you want to admire the views and reduce risk of injury. But you have to walk fast up steep hills to get heart and lungs going like running does and that's what's good for you.

  • It's a greater sense of achievement to run a distance rather than walk so helps your mental well being. It tones more than walking so you are carrying less of the damaging fat, it must be better for your health as you are using your hearts and lungs more.

  • You're pretty much right. The idea of running is to increase your heart rate but encouraging the need to for oxygenated blood round your body. By getting out of puff, you've worked your heart and lung muscles, in turn strengthening them to improve heart health. While power walking may achieve a similar affect, you need to push your body to reach that point of being out of puff to build up the muscles involved. Jogging/running is an easier way to achieve this than walking for the same distance

  • Because it is a different exercise, and one that engages your cardio engine more thoroughly. It's not just about about covering distance. If it were you could, y'know, jump in the car. You will burn calories walking but you will have to walk for more than twice the time to do so, and you won't get as fit.

    Also, because you can. For the sheer exuberance and enjoyment of it. Because we have thee amazing bodies that are capable of such great stuff and it would be a terrible waste not to use them to their full potential.

    Why just do Pilates when you can run and jump and swim and skip and live life to the full?

  • Thanks all - interesting!

  • In my case it was because I couldn't sustain a brisk walk, it was too painful (and although it is better than it was, it still is) Running is much looser.

    That was the impetus... but with a heart rate monitor I can see the dramatic difference. An uncomfortable walk doesn't produce anything like the workout for my heart that a really gentle run does. I believe the evidence is that it is also better for osteoporosis prevention. It is also a much quicker way to burn calories and see the views (the views were part of my motivation for running), so fits in with my life, and as I prefer running by myself I can do it any time.

    I also find that my hands and fingers don't swell up nearly as much and I don't suffer as much afterwards.

    It is a bit of a weird question as safe running involves days of *not* running when you can walk instead. And do Pilates if s/he's worried about the bottom line...

  • I have been a walker for most of my life and kept my fitness levels up with walking when I can't run, but for me the main difference is that running uses my muscles differently. My legs, glutes and core are more toned when I run, it builds my muscles in a different way even to the point of activating muscles parts that I don't use when I just walk. So basically I run so my jeans fit better πŸ˜€.

  • I love walking and usually do a brisk walk on my non running days if I've got time. And that's the thing . Walking does take time. A brisk half hour run round the village is done and dusted by the time everyone else has gone to school/work. A walk of a similar distance, though lovely, takes a big chunk out of my day. I can easily burn as many calories as a run, but the old ticker doesn't get the same workout as a run. It's still better than sitting around watching the tennis though, which is what I mostly did last week!

  • I love walking and will always do it. You can walk 20miles but only professional can run 20miles. But l am enjoying running because when you are short of time, you achieve more in a short run than walk. After 30mins run you will have accomplished some fitness exercises but after 30mins walk it feels like a gentle strolls. That's my take on why run than walk. It will be interesting to hear others take on it. Ask your Pilates instructor to try running πŸ˜ƒ

  • I didn't get the impression she was against me running as such - more curious. And perhaps wondering how safe it is - I think having the forum makes it a much safer venture and it's difficult to imagine how helpful the forum is until you've tried it. I think it helps prevent impetuous activity. Thanks all for thoughtful replies.

  • Because it might help us live longer! (Interesting article here)


  • I learned to run - just in case I am ever walking in the forest with a friend and we come across a bear.

  • Best answer! So many forests. So many bears. πŸ˜‰

  • The simplest answer would be 'Try it, and find out for yourself'.

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