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Running vs. Walking

Which is better for weight loss– running or walking? Which is better for overall health? There are a lot of avid runners and walkers with strong opinions out there. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of running vs walking!

Running vs. Walking

Running vs Walking for weight loss

Running vs. walking Calories Burnt

Bottom line– you burn more calories per hour by running. Running for an hour burns an average of 800 calories, walking burns 300. Over the same distance the calorie burn is not significantly different, but of course walking is going to take longer.

Running vs. Walking Benefits

Both running and walking will lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. Regularly running or walking will prevent osteoporosis and lower your body weight. All good things for your health! Both shift your mood and relieve stress.


Running Cons

The biggest con of running is greater risk of injury (like my infamous IT band flareup…womp, womp.) Runners are an injury-prone bunch, the constant pounding is tough on muscles, hips, and feet. Especially, “excessive” longer distance running can hurt your heart over time.

Walking “excessively” isn’t really a thing, so you can really not do too much of it.

Running vs. Walking for Weight Loss

Running burns more calories and so I think it’s definitely the more effective weight loss tool. But whichever workout you will ENJOY more and thus DO more consistently will be best for your weight loss. In a few certain situations (PCOS, insulin resistance, or thyroid disorder) your body can interpret running as a stress which negatively affects your weight loss efforts.

Running vs. Walking Equipment

Gear is more important for running but either way it’s good to be comfortable! IHere are some of my favorite gear for running.

  1. My favorite running leggings!! — No chafing and they hold up SO well!!
  2. The sports bra that holds things tight! (Also perfect for nursing moms!)
  3. A classic workout top in beautiful colors!
  4. Brooks running shoes 

Running vs walking which is better for weight loss?

If you are going to be running regularly I suggest going to your local running store and getting professionally fitted for shoes. A running store will evaluate your gait and even check out your old shoes to see how they have worn out in the past and make recommendations. This may cost more but it is definitely worth it!!

One thing I love about walking is there is no equipment required!! You just walk! I

  1. I love this great, comfy shoe for walking!
  2. Also, I really adore my Birkenstocks for a casual walk.

Walking is fun!

Overall, choose running or walking based on your goals.

Choose running or walking based on what you like — the BEST workout is one you will actually do! So choose the one that appeals to you and make it a regular part of your healthy living lifestyle.

In the past, running has always been a great way to lose weight and tone up. I love my runner’s high and setting and accomplishing running goals.

I also love walks for being active, relaxing, and enjoying the outdoors. Walking with my kids is one of my absolute favorite things!  It’s a low stress workout with long term benefits and one of the best exercises for those who are insulin resistant.

walking with layla


If you want to start running, doing run-walk intervals is a great way to start! You don’t have to choose between the two, but incorporate both in your healthy lifestyle!

Here’s some other great articles on the benefits of walking and running.

Is Walking as Good as Running? 

Walking: Trim Your Waistline, Improve Your Health

Tell me, would you rather walk or run and why?

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  1. I like both. I think it’s hard to determine if one is better than the other. It all depends on what your goals are and where you’re at in life. Right now, running is better for me.

    1. Totally true! Running is what I NEED right now cause I’m focusing on losing fat, but walking is great for my stress relief and Layla loves to be outdoors walking.

  2. I appreciate your going through the pros and cons of each here! It’s definitely important to note that it’s all about our personal goals and preferences.

  3. I took a walking class in college and it was really informative. It’s one of the only exercises we’ll be likely to be able to do at any age. I loved that!

  4. Love this! Such great points, and really, they’re BOTH great ways to stay fit. But, you really help me appreciate the walking. I miss walking. I want to walk more! So awesome! You’re so encouraging! Great job! Thanks for linking-up. So happy you did, so I could get to know you better!

  5. Discussed this on our radio show and thought you might be interested as thought this research was significant. Those doing an average running routine are not damaging joints. It is INACTIVITY that is more damaging. A doctor that specializes in hip replacement did tell me that after an injury is when you have to be careful as it can go downhill fast after that so be extra careful if that happens. http://texasrunningpost.com/training/running-bad-knees/

    1. Elaine, thanks so much for mentioning this! I looked up the study I think you are referencing and it was so intriguing to read how the human body adapts to running. I edited the post to take out the reference to joints. Sometimes I think runner’s have more injuries because overall we are a stubborn bunch who love to run and therefore run injured when we should be resting. #guilty Thanks for sharing!

  6. If I’m by myself, I prefer running. But since I have kids now, I mostly just go on walks, and I love going on walks with my girls 🙂 It’s actually probably my favorite way to spend time with them. I get bored being cooped up inside the house.

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