It may come as an initial shock, but walking for exercise comes with many health benefits despite the lack of intensity it has when compared to running.
For starters, walking puts less pressure on your joints; jogging and / or running instantly adds fast pressure with each step. If you experience joint problems, waking will give you exercise without the joint pain/pressure. However, if you don’t have any joint problems, try adding a few minutes of jogging to a walking routine and gradually add to it. By adding jogging to your routine – even small amounts – it will challenge your body. Minor changes to your exercise routine will allow your muscles not to get stagnant. When muscles get used to the same workout, you stop getting benefits of muscle toning, weight loss, and remaining fit.
For those of you that do experience joint pressure, even with walking, choose a surface that can absorb some of the impact. A concrete sidewall will not absorb the impact of pressure from walking/jogging thereby your joints will need to absorb the impact. If you walk / jog on a dirt path, the soft ground will absorb some of the impact thereby making each step less damaging to your joints.
Whether you choose to walk, jog, or run, you will reap benefits of improved sleep, a balanced mood, better energy, decreased blood pressure, burning Calories, and lower cholesterol.
However, if you run instead of walk, you will gain the same benefits with a shorter amount of time dedication. For example, a 200 pound man would burn 113 Calories walking 1 mile in 15 minutes. The same man would burn 151 Calories running 1 mile in 10 minutes. That means a five minute shorter workout time could burn an additional 38 Calories. You can check the numbers yourself at www.caloriesperhour.com.
To improve your cardiovascular abilities, running is a better choice. While running, you challenge your muscles and lungs at a higher intensity than walking would.
Walking on a dirt path offers less strenuous of an impact on joints within the body, however jogging / running offers the same health benefits of walking with less time dedication.