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Are you a runner or walker?

Do you ever wonder which one is better for your health?

Whether you like to walk or run, getting out of your chair and doing some exercise is good for you.

It is when you have specific goals, such as running a marathon or shedding pounds, that one might be better for you then another.

There is no doubt at all that running is becoming increasingly popular and seen as the fail-safe way to get fit. Go outside on your lunch break or stroll through the park at the weekend and neon clad runners will go whizzing past at a rate of knots.

As well as being free, running comes with a multitude of benefits including weight loss, freedom, time to think, stress release, and sleeping better. However, it certainly isn’t for everyone.

Despite all of the excellent benefits, running is a high-impact exercise and one that can be tough on our joints, which can make it a no-no for some people.

Runners’ legs and knees receive greater impact force than walkers and injuries can, and do occur. When you walk you keep one foot on the ground which means walking is gentler and slower paced.

Experts recommend people run no more than five times a week if they are working at a moderate-intense level, and that you stretch before and after any session.

If you’re worried about injuries, or already have one, then the best plan is to keep clear of running and walk instead. If you suffer an injury or are in ongoing pain check in with your GP but don’t suffer in silence as it can cause more harm.

Running also burns more calories than walking, even fast walking, making it a good way to losing weight and tone up. If this is your goal then consider running with a friend and having a plan. You can find these on running and fitness websites and can also get apps to help keep you on track.

Whether you are running in January or July, in Australia or Austria, make sure you wear the right gear. Go for layers made of breathable fabrics and always wear a pair of trainers that fit well and support your feet and ankles. It might seem like a big investment but you are working to improve your health not damage it, so buy the best you can.

Along similar lines, if you are running on a regular basis, it is vital to refuel your body with protein-rich foods and don’t over eat as a result of exercising and thinking you deserve lots of treats!

Keeping hydrated is vital, especially when during the summer when you sweat more. Water is the best thing to drink and lots of it. You might think energy drinks will give you a boost but many are packed with sugar and chemicals that you can do without.

If you simply want to keep healthy and don’t have any burning ambitions to break records or win medals then the good news is that walking could be just as good as running.

It can help reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Both can help keep your BMI at a healthy level with is really important. Of course being outside ups your levels or Vitamin D and increases those natural happy endorphins leaving you feeling more sparky.

Making small changes to everyday routines means it is pretty easy to increase how active you are and you will soon start to see results.

  • Walk to work.
  • Get off the bus one stop early and walk the rest of the way.
  • If you don’t have a dog, offer to walk your friend’s, as this is a brilliant way to get fresh air and exercise.
  • Run around in the park with your kids and burn off some energy as you connect and have fun.
  • Take the stairs rather than a lift or escalators.
  • Include a walk in your family’s weekend activities.
  • Tell people about what you are doing, as this will make you accountable and give you a sense of achievement.
  • Track your steps each day. There are loads of apps and gadgets, and try to increase the total week by week.
  • Join a rambling or walking group if you are keen to make new friends at the same time as exercising.

Whether you run or walk, simply being more active will benefit you in many ways. So start today and see a fitter, happier you in no time.