There is much debate as to whether brisk walking (also known as power walking) or jogging produces more health benefits. While walking and jogging promote overall health and fitness, walking may actually be more beneficial as it provides the same benefits as jogging without producing the same risks as jogging.
Health Benefits of Walking
Walking is typically viewed as more motivational than jogging because it is performed in a low pressure and more social setting. Walking can be done at a comfortable pace with friends, with or without a trainer.
The relaxed pace of walking combined with the low impact of bodyweight on the body is better for heart health. The Journal of the American College of Cardiology provides a study where it was concluded that the pace of a brisk walk or slow jog for approximately 1-2.5 every week reduces the risk of death by 25%. Walking is also more ideal for heart health because it gets the heart into the ideal range of 50%-70% of the body’s maximum heart rate.
Walking also results in less wear and tear on the joints because there is no excessive force being exerted on one leg. While walking is usually recommended as a stepping stone at the beginning of one’s fitness journey, slow jogging and running are better for weight loss because they burn more calories than power walking.
Walking is a flexible exercise as it can be performed at a brisk or relaxed speed. With the exception of the number of calories burned, walking provides just as much benefit to the overall body as jogging or running.
Also Read:- Bowflex Max Trainer vs. TreadClimber
Physical Impact of Jogging
When engaging in jogging, it is important to note that all of the body weight is pushed down onto one leg with force. According to a study published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, running produces a force on the body’s joints that weighs approximately 2.5 times the amount of the total bodyweight. Walking, on the other hand, produces a force of 1.2 times the amount of the total bodyweight.
Also Read:- How Far Should I Run in 30 Minutes? (Targets | Miles | Distance)
The impact of the accumulation of excessive force from consistent or heavy jogging or running activity poses the same risk of death as inactive people. Further, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology published a study that states regular walkers are healthier than runners, with more significantly dropped rates in hypertension, heart disease, and high cholesterol. This is due to jogging getting the heart working harder. On average, jogging or running will raise the heart rate to 120-130 beats per minute.
Jogging or Walking for Weight Loss?
Slow jogging or running is better to advance weight loss because it burns more calories than walking. However, a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the intensity of running/jogging can boost women’s appetites so much that there is a greater risk of overeating to replace the calories burned. There are also studies that suggest heavy joggers may experience more weight fluctuation than regular walkers.
Slow Running vs Jogging, Which is Better?
Contrary to the belief that hard, long distance running provides greater benefit than jogging, it has been found to not produce results better than those from jogging. Additionally, engaging in long and fast runs over time may result in an increase in adrenalin, which poses the risk of inflammation of the arteries.
As a general rule of thumb, jogging at a slower pace and running is okay to engage in, so long as you do not notice an adverse health impact on your body. Be sure to monitor your body, stretch before and after the jog or run, and stop at the first indication of misalignment.
Also Read:- Is Walking Everyday Enough Exercise? Truth | Facts and Myths
Slow Jogging vs Power Walking: The Final Verdict
Both slow jogging and power walking contain their own set of benefits that promote overall health and fitness. In regards to heart and joint health, brisk walking appears to be the better exercise due to it being low impact. Regarding calorie burning, jogging or running is more effective due to the high intensity. Ultimately, the key comes down to finding which exercise works best for the particular participant and what their ultimate goal is. In fact, combining fast walking with slow jogging as part of an interval exercise that quickly burns calories could be the most effective and beneficial workout activity of all.