Places Pointer: Walking vs Running

The big debate

The days are brightening up into Spring and outdoor exercise is on the cards again!

There seems to be a distinct divide between those who choose to run and those who opt for a calmer walk – others like to mix it up.

But one thing is for certain, there is no obvious winner of the two. Stuck between which to choose? We’ve weighed in on the pros and cons of both, so that you don’t have to…



  • Low impact – keeps stress off heart and joints making it more suitable for those with health issues and disabilities, also seemingly easier to perform and therefore can be carried out more often.
  • Low intensity – low effort required can keep newbies on track in the long-term and allow individuals to build up their activity gradually.


  • Slow progress – calories burn at a slower rate to higher-intensity activity, making the path to some fitness goals a longer one. Consider increasing the intensity with speed or incline.
  • Time consuming – the slow progress means more time must be spent to reach the same results as higher-intensity workouts… time is required!



  • Effective – burn calories quickly and more efficiently – as higher-intensity activity utilises more energy in the same amount of time.
  • Cardiovascular health – boost cardiovascular health and aerobic fitness quicker and more effectively.


  • High risk – running is more likely to cause injury and lead to physical damage, limiting the frequency and duration that this exercise can be carried out.
  • High intensity – can lead to burnout/overcompensation, making it harder to stick to in the long run.

Fun fact: whilst researching this, we discovered one study that found “walking was virtually as effective as running for women in all weight categories apart from the largest weight category”.

Men, on the other hand, found running to be the most effective for dropping pounds overall.

The bottom line is that any movement is good.

Running is the exercise to go for if you are looking to up your output more quickly or build-up strength and endurance for cardiovascular health and wellness.

Walking is a great option for those that dislike other forms of cardio, struggle with health issues, have more time on their hands, or are looking to recover – whether its from a long-term injury or from yesterday’s run.

If you have the choice of both running and walking, 100% do both…

A combination of the two means you reap the benefits of both exercises, and if you’re feeling like a rest from your usual, high-intensity regime, walking a comfortable distance might just be the answer to assist your recovery and keep your body moving. Win win!

Sources: Walking for health - NHS ( | Walking vs. Running: Which is Better for Your Health? ( | Is Walking or Running Better for Weight Loss? (

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