Walking better than Running?

There is Good News for unfit residents of the Hot and Humid City of Dar es Salaam and for anybody living in a climate where the discipline required to leave the airconditioned room and sedentary life of comfort for grueling running exercise in the heat, seems just too irrealistic! Recent research findings cast doubt on the health benefits of running, especially strenuous jogging and suggest that "brisk walking" is better than running. You have no more excuse to change clothes and start walking TODAY!

In colder climates where running may be a natural response when leaving the heated house and shivering in your running outfit in front of your door, this extra stimulus is missing on a hot and humid day in Dar. Even more difficult for people who live a sedentary life in airconditioned rooms and for whom running away into the sticking heat may seem irresponsibe.

Like with any scientific subject conflicting conclusions can be found and it is up to the person trying to support a statement, which conclusions will be highlighted. For the case of healt benefits from Running versus Walking, a range of conclusions are listed here.

Comparing the energy expenditure between (brisk) walking and running learns that at a walking pace of 4km/hr a person with 68kg needs to keep on walking for 90min. to achieve the same energy expenditure as runner of the same weight running 27min. with a speed of 10km/hr (see calculator). Brisk walking becomes increasingly effective and even more effective in calorie burning than running around a walking speed of 9 to 10km/hr (compared to the same running speed). For comparison the world speed record for race walking is around 16km/hr (20km race walk).

The diagram compares oxygen uptake which becomes more with walking against running at the speed of 8km/hr.

 

With walking as a healthy alternative a massive opportunity is offered for everybody who is aware of the fact that he/she is experiencing health problems because of their unnatural way of dealing with their body and life in general. Any reader of this article can start walking and gradually increase distance and speed. Not only is this healthier walking option lowering the treshold for starting fitness for every unfit person it also is a responsible way to start challenging your body without the risk of injuries or other negative health effects on a body which has missed basic physical exercise for too long.

It is also good news for recreational exercise in the Pugu Forest which is the perfect outdoor gym with its heat and humidity and eventually steep slopes and option of long walks - and if protected properly under the canopy ( of the reviving Pugu Forest) out of the burning sun - waiting for the Dar residents to come and burn their calories for a healthy long life.