Walking, Jogging or Running: Which Is Best For You?

Cardio. You can’t get in shape without it. Whether its Jogging, Running, HIIT (High Intesity Interval Training), Biking, Skiing, Swimming or Walking it doesn’t matter cause at some point if you want to get in shape, you’ll have to pick up one of these.

So lets look at some of the most popular forms of cardio and the benefits and disadvantages of each one.

1. Walking– Probably the most basic form of cardiovascular exercise. Many people who are just starting out begin with walking, eventually build to a jog and then a run. Can’t jog or run? Try Speed Walking. Speed walking became an official sport in 1880. It’s great because it can burn just as many calories as jogging and is much easier on the body.

The key to walking is getting your heart rate up to the fat burning zone. Each persons “Target Heart Rate” is different. (Go HERE to find out what your T.H.R.). This is typically hard to do because walking isn’t as strenuous on the body as say jogging or running. It can be done but you have work much harder and “walk” for much longer.

Again, walking is great for those with joint problems but not for those looking to burn massive amounts of fat.

Tips: On a treadmill, increase the incline in the beginning of your walk to help increase your THR. Try and keep your heart rate in this “zone” for at least 30-min to an hour. If walking out doors, walk as fast as you can up hills and slower down them.

2. Jogging- As the next logical step in the cardio world, jogging is about as common as drinking water. Even though you are “running” there is a huge difference between the two.

“The definition of jogging as compared with running is not standard. Dr. George Sheehan, a running expert, is quoted to have said “the difference between a jogger and a runner is an entry blank”.[1] Mike Antoniades offers a more specific definition, describing jogging as running slower than 6 mph (10 minute per mile pace, 9.7 km/h, 6.2 min/km)”. [1]

Jogging is a great way to get into good cardiovascular shape as well. After all you can’t really progress into running without starting somewhere. It burns a decent amount of calories (when compared to walking) and OK on your joints. I personally began jogging about a year ago when I started my weight loss journey.

The problem with jogging is while you think you are burning massive amounts of calories this is not always true. Unless you run long distance (10 miles +) jogging isn’t going to burn fat like you might think.

It boils — not burns — down to this: During the same amount of time you don’t use more calories at lower exercise intensities. If you’re trying to lose weight and you have only 30 minutes to work out, you would burn fewer calories walking at a moderate pace compared to walking at a fast pace. Working out at higher intensities may cause you to burn a lower percentage of fat, but since you burn more total calories, you still use more fat calories.

 Low- to moderate-intensity exercise can burn a significant number of calories over a period of time. If you aren’t fit enough to push yourself to work at a high intensity, or you have a physical weakness that prevents you from doing so, you can still burn a lot of calories by doing low-intensity workouts for a longer period of time. Read more: [2]

Like I mentioned about walking, time is a factor for joggers. When compared to running, it will take joggers much longer to burn the same amount of calories. If you are trying to maximize your time, jogging isn’t the best option. If you are just trying to stay in shape or cool down after running than jogging is perfect. If you are looking to burn fat and get tone, jogging will not be the best option.

You can spend tons of time on a treadmill and see very little results. This is because aerobic exercise like jogging is not an efficient form of burning excess fat. Runners will be thin because they run enough to give their body no choice but to burn the fat and they usually maintain a healthy diet that supports such a lifestyle. For the average person, we don’t want to spend hours a day exercising. It is also almost certain that if you try to alter your daily routine by that much, you will quit. Without the correct nutrients like omega 3 and omega 6, aerobic exercise actually will burn muscle instead of fat. [3]

3. Running- As mentioned above, running is the best option for those looking to burn FAT. By pushing yourself to an extreme level, it forces your body to access stored fat for fuel. And since you are raising your heart rate to a high level, the amount of calories burned is much higher.

HIIT has become one of the most popular forms of intense running. By performing intervals (jogging than running, back to a walk and jumping back up a run) you burn massive amounts of calories really fast and your body will actually continue to burn calories after your work out is complete.

HIIT training offers many important benefits. Your legs will be worked hard with a HIIT workout. Unless you want bulging leg muscles, you shouldn’t need to do strength training for your legs if you perform HIIT training a few times a week. And HIIT increases your body’s fat burning potential. Doing the intense intervals causes fatty acids to be released into the bloodstream. HIIT training also increases the level of HGH in your system. HGH is a hormone that promotes fat burning yet preserves muscle. To top it off, HIIT training creates an after-burn effect (EPOC) which lets your body burn more calories for hours after you have finished exercising. [4]

A 20-30 minute HIIT training session is optimal. For the more advance person, 45 minutes is best. One down side would be you can only perform these more intense type work outs a few times a week as your body needs more time to recover. It is also more strenuous on the body but the benefits far out-weigh the disadvantages.

Examples:

  • Running sprints on a track or treadmill. Sprint for 30 secs, walk or jog for 45 secs to a minute. Sprint again for 30 secs. Variation: sprint straights, walk or jog banks.
  • Wind sprints
  • Up hill sprints
  • Intervals on a bike

So what have we learned:

  • Walking is a great place to start but if you are physically capable progressing to a jog and then a run is best for fat burning.
  • Jogging is great for those looking to stay in shape but not best for fat burning.
  • Running (HIIT) is the best option for those looking to burn fat and also get in great shape. It’s shorter (time and distance) and burns WAY more calories.

Again none of these options are bad but if you have certain goals, choosing the right one is key in obtaining said goal.

Be well,

Lyell

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jogging [1]
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/busting-the-great-myths-of-fat-burning.html [2]
http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Best-Way-To-Burn-Fat-Is-Not-By-Jogging&id=221732 [3]
http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Best-Cardio-For-Weight-Loss—An-HIIT-Training-Routine-to-Burn-Belly-Fat-Fast&id=4409236 [4]
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5 thoughts on “Walking, Jogging or Running: Which Is Best For You?

    • To me its not about what machine or method you use just long as you are pushing yourself. I don’t use Ellipticals anymore. I just don’t feel they push my body.

      I actually do a combination of three cardio exercises.

      1. Running sprints on treadmill for 15 min
      2. Intervals on upright bike (100%resistance and then 50% resistance)
      3. Step up on Arc trainer. start at 40% resistance and go up 10% every minute and then back down to 40%. shttp://www.arctrainer.com/

      Again I think any form of cardio is great. I have found the key is getting your heart rate up and keeping it high the entire time.

      To be completely honest….The main reason i do sprints and intervals is because I can get in an extremely hard workout, in half the time….So call it a form of laziness. lol

      I also like switching up machines to keep from getting bored. Plus each exercise targets different muscles…

      Just my two cents..

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