Too tired to run? Feels like a lot of effort? Good news – walking can be just as effective for fat loss, fitness, and long-term health. Let me convince you to add some extra walking into your fitness plan.
When running isn’t right for you
I’ve got nothing against running. It’s great for cardiovascular fitness, burns calories, and builds endurance.
But it’s not for everyone. If you’re prone to injury, post-surgery, carry a lot of weight, or are starting your fitness journey, I wouldn’t recommend running to you.
- Running is high impact – with every stride, your entire bodyweight goes through the relatively small joints of your knees and ankles.
- Running carries injury risk – especially if your joints and muscles aren’t conditioned for the specific movement patterns of running
- Running demands a lot of recovery – running is hard work and likely to take it out of you for at least 24 hours
- Running isn’t always convenient – running is a free activity, but it needs kit, space, and a shower afterwards!
- Running can’t be done every day – and if you’re on a fat loss journey, it’s important to stay active every day
The power of walking
Unlike running, walking can be done every day without damaging your joints or making you so tired that you need a rest day.
Most people can go for a 20, 30, or even 60 minute walk every single day. And that’s fantastic news for burning calories and improving your fitness.
Did you know, you’ll burn roughly the same number of calories walking 1 mile as you would running it? The main difference being that it takes less time to burn those calories when you run.
A 5 mile walk will burn 300-500 calories (depending on your body weight and a few other factors). Same as a 5-mile run. Which would you rather get up and do right now?
Walking comes with so many other benefits, too. It’s great for improving heart health and blood pressure. It helps your digestion. It’s enjoyable. It allows you to explore your local area and take in the sights. You can easily walk with other people, regardless of their fitness levels. And walking is great for your stress levels and mental wellbeing.
When to choose walking over running
You might think that if fat loss is the goal, running will always be the best choice. I disagree. Here are just 5 reasons to choose walking over running. You can probably think of more!
- You’re tired but you need to get more steps in today
- You want some gentle outdoor exercise
- You are at the start of your fitness journey
- You fancy going out for 60+ minutes
- You don’t want to feel shattered for the rest of the day
3 ways to boost your walks
If walking is already your outdoor exercise of choice, there will be times when you want to crank up the dial. No, you still don’t need to run! There are plenty of ways to increase the intensity of walking without breaking into a trot.
1. Walk faster – there’s a big difference between a stroll and a power walk. Walking faster not only burns more calories and covers more ground, but brings different muscles into the mix (including those of your arms, shoulders, and upper body)
2. Walk uphill – hills make walking harder so you’ll burn more calories and get fitter. You’ll also tone up your legs and bum this way.
3. Walk off-road – walking on different terrains and surfaces gently challenges your joints and muscles, balance, and co-ordination because your body has to work a little harder.
I specialise in creating personalised fitness programmes that get you in amazing shape – your way. Don’t want to run? You don’t have to! Drop me a line to talk about the best fitness and diet approach for YOU.
‘The number one rated Personal Trainer In Henley and Oxfordshire’