There are many health benefits to walking, running, and everything in between. Those benefits vary with the many different ways to approach your cardio workouts. If you’re trying to decide whether walking, jogging, running, or sprinting is best for you- keep reading to learn about the potential perks and drawbacks of each. You can then make an informed decision and plan that works best for your fitness goals.
Benefits Of Walking
Whether it’s outside or on a treadmill, walking is one of the most basic forms of exercise that you can do. All you need is a pair of supportive shoes and the motivation to get going. Even walking at a slower pace, below 2.5 miles per hour (mph), will still get your legs working and blood circulating. However, it does yield significantly slower results than the other three options below.
On the other hand, if you increase your speed to greater than 5 mph, you can get a similar calorie burn and cardiovascular workout as you would with any other type of workout. This is excellent news for anyone with joint pain or who simply doesn’t like running.
Is walking better than running? For walking enthusiasts or anyone with an injury or intolerance for high-impact activities, yes. For anyone else, probably not.
Benfits Of Jogging
Jogging, running, and sprinting all utilize the same muscle groups to propel your body forward- including the glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, and core. However, jogging uses slow-twitch muscle fibers designed for endurance and stability. This is what allows you to sustain a more extended period with jogging over sprinting.
Jogging is excellent for building endurance and long-term cardiovascular health. Ironically, it is harder to jog at a slow pace than to run at speeds over 5 mph (once your body can sustain it). In time your heart and muscles will make positive adaptive changes to improve your long-term quality of life and health.
Is sprinting and walking better than jogging? Not necessarily. It depends on your current fitness level and what your goals are. Jogging may be an excellent choice for someone working on building their endurance to run or sprint in the future. Or if you simply enjoy a slower pace, that’s okay too.
Benefits Of Running
You should consider running a hybrid between jogging and sprinting. Depending on the speed and intensity you choose to run, you may fluctuate between the two if you aren’t trying to run at a steady pace. If you’re running outside, varying your pace will occur naturally with the landscape and your energy levels. However, if you’re running on a treadmill you will most likely be running at one constant speed that you choose. Running at a 5 mph or greater rate will yield the most significant changes in your VO2 max (oxygen efficiency), metabolism, and overall fitness level.
How does running compare to walking or jogging? You have the potential to build your endurance and strength more quickly, as long as your joints can handle the impact and oxygen demands.
Benefits Of Sprinting
Sprinting is the most intense type of exercise in this review. It utilizes fast-twitch muscle fibers designed to provide the legs with explosive power and brute strength. How effective your muscles are at sustaining this high level of performance is dependent on your fitness levels. High-intensity workouts, like sprint intervals, are better for getting rid of stubborn visceral and stomach fat. Plus, it is always the quickest way to boost your metabolism and keep it elevated all day long, so you are burning fat no matter where your day takes you.
If you’ve ever asked yourself, is it better to sprint or jog for weight loss? It should now make sense why sprinting tends to be the best choice.
Which One Is Right For Me?
Regardless of which form of exercise you choose, it’s always important to make sure you move with good form and have appropriate supportive shoes. Any of the options listed above are great for weight loss as well (some will just take more time than others). The key is to find something that you can do consistently. Plus, you can always mix it up to get all the benefits of each type. Ultimately, it all comes down to preferences and keeping your workouts varied to prevent injury and burnout.