Over the years I’ve worked as a personal trainer, one of the most common topics of discussion I seem to have is the comparison between running vs walking for weight loss. Most people seem to think they need to run to lose weight and that walking isn’t as effective as running. These same people are pleasantly surprised when I explain to them how walking is better than running if your goal is to burn fat from your body.
BETWEEN RUNNING VS WALKING, WHICH ONE HELPS YOU LOSE WEIGHT MORE?
RUNNING BURNS FOOD FIRST
When you run, your body needs a high-quality fuel source for its energy requirements, and therefore, will burn either food or muscle tissue before it burns fat. Food and muscle tissue are the ideal high-quality fuel source for a high-intensity workout like running. Since running is a strenuous activity, stored body fat won’t supply the energy the body needs to be able to run for any length of time.
WALKING BURNS FAT
For those of you who like to walk, here’s some good news. Walking is a low-intensity form of exercise and probably the best workout for burning fat from your body. Since walking doesn’t put such a strain on the muscular makeup of the body or the central nervous system like running does, walking promotes fat loss.
Fat can and will supply the necessary fuel the body needs while walking. Therefore, in a comparison between running vs walking for losing fat, walking wins.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO WALK?
Now, it’s important to know when the best time to walk to burn fat from your body is and that time is when your body has a minimum amount food in its system or when your blood sugar levels are low. Your blood sugar levels will be at their lowest the longer you’ve gone without eating.
Usually, your blood sugar levels are at their lowest point on waking each day since you have not eaten since the day before. For this reason, walking on an empty stomach forces the body to use fat for energy instead of food.
Many of my personal training clients have had great success with walking for losing fat, especially the ones who walk for an hour just after they wake each morning before they eat any food. Even if you didn’t adjust your diet at all, you’d probably notice a drop in your body fat levels after a couple of months if you walked for an hour before breakfast at least 4-5 mornings per week.
ADJUSTING YOUR DIET WILL BE HELPFUL TOO
Ideally, if you were to adjust your daily eating plan to avoid too many carbohydrates and an excess of fatty foods, you’d lose a significant amount of body fat if you walked for an hour most mornings. I’d like to add that, training with weights does build muscle and the more muscle a body holds, the faster that body will lose body fat when exercising.
It’s the activation of your muscle tissue that speeds up your fat loss. So a combination of weight training and walking works best to lose fat fast.
There are no tricks with this simple walking plan, just don’t put anything in your mouth other than water before you begin your morning walk and you’ll find that walking is more effective than running if your primary goal is to burn body fat in a relatively fast and very safe manner.
Once you get back from your morning walk, you can eat breakfast as you normally would and go about your day. Now you know which one to choose between running vs walking for weight loss, what are you waiting for? Wake up earlier and start walking!
My new book, Fitness Secrets, is full of up-to-date, useful information on burning fat fast and building muscle for both men and women of all ages. With the right information and a little bit of effort, anybody can transform their body and their life. I’ve seen this happen with many of my training clients over the years, even with people who were significantly overweight and out of shape.