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Burn more Calories

The walking versus running debate has been around for a while, and for good reasons. For one thing, walking is easier on the body and joints than running. This can be huge for folks needing to take it easy while engaging in a fitness program. This is particularly true for older adults, and those that are significantly overweight. The answer to the question, which activity burns more overall calories, and therefore would lead to greater weight loss, would be running (or jogging) in most cases. The main reason is that walking is more efficient biomechanically.

Let's talk about the 2004 ACSM study taking 12 men and 12 women and having them walk 1600 meters (around a mile) on a treadmill. The men averaged 88 calories burned, and the women burned 74. When they ran, the men burned 124 and the women burned 105 (the lower numbers for the women were due to size difference).

But hold on a minute! That is not taking into consideration the crossover, or gray zone phenomenon, which is a speed at which walking is actually less efficient than running, not normally being the case. This occurs somewhere in the 4 to 5 mile per hour pace. The hips tend to swing more, and the arm swing is wider to make the adjustment just before the body has to break out into a run. In this case the walk can burn more than twice the calories per minute.

What does this mean for your walking or running program? First of all, do what makes you feel better, as long as you're out doing it! But if you want to mix it up, the recommendation is to warm up for 5-10 minutes at a 3-3.5 mph pace, moving into a 4-5 mph pace for 10 minutes or so, then jog for 10 minutes at the same pace, eventually backing off to the initial warm up pace for another 10 minutes. That will give you an interval style walk/jog routine that you can and should change up every few weeks. This can be accomplished by running at different speeds during the jog phase, walking and/or jogging up an incline for part of the routine, and even increasing the time of aerobic conditioning once you have made the necessary adaptations.

Remember that 20 minutes of jogging can have similar effects as walking a moderate pace for an hour. The decision on what you do should be make according to your state of health, time available for the routine, and what you're in the mood for. Just enjoy it and move!

This article was provided by Health Hound Fitness and Finest City Fitness
For more information on Health Hound Fitness and Finest City Fitness, check out their full profile here.
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