As I was drafting up my response to two contradicting articles that were published on the same day regarding which was actually better – running or walking, I was really impressed when the Slate came out with their article!
There are certain benefits to running – it increases your heart rate, activates different muscles, and there’s nothing like that “runners high.” But that’s not to say that walking won’t have the same effect – if it is done with intent.
(Side note: I often hear my patients say “I walk a lot at work.” or “I get enough exercise cleaning the house.” or “I stretch when I get up.” This frustrates me to no end. This is NOT exercise. Exercise is not just physical, but a mental activity as well – but I digress).
In my opinion, there is no real difference between walking (with intent to exercise), and running – as long as you are moving! Sitting is the new smoking!
Many times a walking program leads to running. After a few weeks of brisk walking it becomes too easy and you want a challenge. You’d be surprised at how fast your cardiovascular system adapts.
To those already exercising routinely, with the warming spring weather, I encourage everyone to block off at least 30 minutes each day to go for a brisk walk or run OUTSIDE; make it part of your exercise routine. While I applaud those who workout at the gym on a regular basis, doing something outdoors is equally beneficial for your health. We spend more than enough time indoors breathing recycled air as it is. Go outside, soak in some Vitamin D, and get some fresh air while doing something good for your health.
If you’re unsure about how to start a program or whether it is the right approach for you, you can consult a healthcare professional including your chiropractor to create a personalized plan just for you! There are a great many resources available – you just have to ask!
Running or Walking, it’s all good!