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Dilemma: Walking vs. Brisk walking vs. Jogging vs. Running

Fitness, Health, Resources

Dilemma: Walking vs. Brisk walking vs. Jogging vs. Running


Walking vs. Brisk walking vs. Jogging vs. Running

Picking up a fitness plan, which can be squeezed into the daily schedule with ease, and help in cutting down calories as well is something everyone wants. Especially for those of us who have not exercised in a while and do not want to have an injury while working out.[1] 

I pondered a lot and went through a number of exercise plans that would fit in a busy schedule. At last, my hard work paid off. And I found four options which could make anyone a professional. Really!

From the title of course you already know these options. Yes, we are talking about the basic physical activity we do as humans – Walking. And all kinds of  left-right-left.

How are they different from each other? Let’s find out!

The differences

Walking is the best exercise, which is suitable for any age group. However, it is a low intensity workout. This means, it does not elevate our heart rate enough to influence our cardiovascular health as is possible in the case of brisk walking, jogging or running.

Technically speaking…

1. Concept of Hang Time

When walking, brisk walking or jogging the body works like an inverted pendulum, such that when one foot is touching the ground, the other one is in the air.[2]

Unlike all these, when you are running, both feet are in the air for some time until one (forward one) touches the ground again. This in the air time is known as the hang time of running.

2. The difference that speed makes

The average walking speed is 3.1 mph while for brisk walking it is within a range of 4.5- 5.5 mph.

Jogging, on the other hand, is a mild form of running, usually at a speed of less than 6 mph.  This is closer to brisk walking, but with a hang time. Anything above the average jogging speed is running. [3]

The Shoe selection

Shoes used for each of these activities are different. Manufacturers design the shoes specifically keeping in mind the pressure exerted while carrying out the exercise. [4]

Walking causes lesser impact than jogging and running. Hence, walking shoes provide cushioning under the ball of the foot. While running shoes provide cushioning on the heels.

Therefore, next time you go to purchase a pair of shoes, make sure that you question the sales person for the correct pair and prevent yourself from injury. Always remember,

“You can walk in running shoes, but not run in walking shoes.”

Health perspective

All these forms of exercises have their own health benefits.

Though walking is the slowest form of a workout regime, it is very helpful for beginners or those with limited physical abilities.

Time dedicated

We can derive many health benefits by even casually walking for 30 minutes every day. And if you cannot spare this much time, just brisk walk for half of it, i.e., 15-16 minutes, and you’ll get the same benefits .

As for people who jog, it’s always better to gradually move up the time dedicated to the exercise regime from brisk walking to jogging. An hour of jogging is good enough for a healthy heart and bones.

Running, on the other hand, is a sport. It is fast and not everyone can (or should) do it because the impact is more than the other three.

Trying to run in the first go could cause an injury to you. If someone ran for 15 minutes at a distance of 5 miles, one could easily burn 113 calories due to the intensity of the workout .


Walking, in general, can help us with breathing problems, blood pressure, diabetes, reduced body fat, depression, heart diseases, and give you stronger bones. Brisk walking has common health benefits to that of Jogging and running and vice versa.

I came across researches, which say that brisk walking, jogging, or running for 30 minutes every day can prevent cancer especially breast cancer[5]

So ladies, what are you waiting for? Get ready and go on a walk as soon as possible.

It has also been said that brisk walking, jogging, or running reduces the chances of a miscarriage and adds years to your life. These three intense workouts are best for cardiovascular workouts and improve our brainpower, even as we grow old.  [6]

Now is that not obvious?

Exercise is always equal to good health, which is equal to long life. (Ahem!)

So have fun with picking the right exercise regime for yourself as per your convenience and make sure not to hurt yourself while you do so.

It is also always better to ask for your doctor’s approval before you go ahead and start.

[1]Jones BH (1983). Overuse injuries of the lower extremities associated with marching, jogging, and running: a review. Military medicine, 148 (10), 783-7 PMID: 6417562. ^Back to Top^
[2]Kuo AD, Donelan JM, & Ruina A (2005). Energetic consequences of walking like an inverted pendulum: step-to-step transitions. Exercise and sport sciences reviews, 33 (2), 88-97 PMID: 15821430. ^Back to Top^
[3]Jordan, K., Challis, J., & Newell, K. (2007). Walking speed influences on gait cycle variability Gait & Posture, 26 (1), 128-134 DOI: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2006.08.010. ^Back to Top^
[4]Gazendam, M., & Hof, A. (2007). Averaged EMG profiles in jogging and running at different speeds Gait & Posture, 25 (4), 604-614 DOI: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2006.06.013. ^Back to Top^
[5]Shephard, R. (2008). Physical Activity and Cancer International Journal of Sports Medicine, 11 (06), 413-420 DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-1024830. ^Back to Top^
[6]HASKELL, W., LEE, I., PATE, R., POWELL, K., BLAIR, S., FRANKLIN, B., MACERA, C., HEATH, G., THOMPSON, P., & BAUMAN, A. (2007). Physical Activity and Public Health Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 39 (8), 1423-1434 DOI: 10.1249/mss.0b013e3180616b27. ^Back to Top^

Last Updated: June 30th, 2014
Next Scheduled Update: Aug 30th, 2014

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