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Running vs Walking
While walking can provide many of the same health benefits associated with running, a growing body of research suggests running may be best for weight loss. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people expend 2.5 times more energy running than walking, whether that's on the track or treadmill. Translation: For a 160-pound person, running 8 mph would burn over 800 calories per hour, compared to about 300 calories walking at 3.5 mph.
And when equal amounts of energy were expended (meaning walkers spent more time exercising), one study found runners still lost more weight. In this study, not only did the runners begin with lower weights than the walkers; they also had a better chance of maintaining their BMI and waist circumference.
Plus, running may regulate appetite hormones better than walking. In another study, after running or walking, participants were invited to a buffet, where walkers consumed about 50 calories more than they had burned and runners ate almost 200 calories fewer than they'd burned.Researchers think this may have to do with runners' increased levels of the hormone peptide YY, which may suppress appetite.
But aside from weight loss, walking has definite pros.Researchers looked at data from the National Runners Health Study and the National Walkers.Health Study and found that people who expended the same amount of calories saw many of the same health benefits. Regardless of whether they were walking or running, individuals saw a reduced risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and improved better cardiovascular health.
And running does have downsides: It puts more stress on the body and increases the risk for injuries, like runner's knee, hamstring strains,shin splits (which plague even the most consistent runners).