18 May 2005

Walk or jog?

Is it better to walk or jog if you want to lose weight? The answer depends not only on who you are but on your particular goals.

Is it better to walk or jog if you want to lose weight? The answer depends not only on who you are but on your particular goals.

The good news is that both methods will help keep you healthy. The bad news is that neither one is enough by itself to help you lose a lot of weight.

If you walk or jog one mile (or 1.6km), you burn about 90 to 100 calories. If you go a longer distance, say two to three miles (3km – 5km), you will burn about 300 calories in 30 minutes of jogging and about 200 calories while walking. If you did that for a year, you might lose about 15 pounds (7kg), which is good. If you want to lose more, however, you'll have to watch your calorie intake as well, the article says. If you are in the habit of running or walking, it will help you maintain your new weight, which is often the hardest part.

In terms of aerobic fitness, walking and jogging are both good. If you stick with it for 12 to 16 weeks, you will experience a 15 percent-to-30 percent increase in aerobic fitness. One factor to consider is your existing level of fitness. If you are already in pretty good shape, jogging will provide you the most gains. If you are very overweight or a couch potato, then a regular walking program will give you the basis you need for getting fit.

One big difference between walking and jogging is that jogging, over the long run, can put more stress on your muscles, joints and bones. But that is only if you start going longer distances. Jogging 30 minutes a day, three or four times a week, shouldn't cause any problems. If you start to exceed 15 to 20 miles (24km – 32km) a week, you could start experiencing some injuries. One way to stave off some of those problems is to walk for a week to help condition your legs before you start a jogging program. And be sure to wear proper footwear that fits.




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