Jogging vs. Running vs. Walking


I have often thought about returning to running.  I remember my days in Germany running with a jogging stroller for fitness and in hope that this would induce sleep for my son.  It gave my wife a break and was a means for me to exercise.  I loved the stress release, and I could exercise for 20-30 minutes and burn a heck of a lot more calories than I do today.  Alas, that is no more…

In 2005, I experienced two training injuries:

  • The first one occurred while playing football with some fellow trainees.  I had an ankle inversion injury.  I hobbled on it for a week with crutches.  The ER physician told me it was not broken based on the ankle rules for fractures.  Well, they are 95%+ correct with that test.  I guess I was in the other 5%.  I fractured the left distal tibia (outside bone of the ankle right at the bony bulge of the ankle).  I don’t fault the physician who saw me.  I did not think it was broken, either.  I rehabbed it for 3-4 months and thought I was ready.  
  • The second occurred 8 months later while on assignment overseas.  I stepped in a hole, and it popped.  Good news: a combat boot is a good splint.  Bad news, I had a fracture in three places.  I waited until after my return from the assignment to seek surgical care.  I had to have an ankle reconstruction.  I would likely never run again.  

This is why I walk instead of run.  Occasionally, I will try to run or jog, but the ankle reminds me in short order why it is a bad idea.  It also keeps reminding me for several days after.  

Cardiovascular Exercises:

  1. Jogging:
    • PROs  
      • Less impact on the joints than running
      • Burns more calories than walking
      • It is cheap
      • Extends life expectancy
    • CONs
      • Higher impact than walking
      • Harder for the elderly to continue
      • Higher injury rate than walking
      • Takes more time to burn the same level of calories as running
  2. Running:
    • PROs
      • Burns more calories than jogging or walking
      • Extends life expectancy
      • It is cheap
    • CONs
      • Harder on your joints than jogging and walking
      • Highest injury risk
  3. Walking:  
    • PROs
      • Anyone can do it
      • It extends your life expectance
      • It is cheap
      • Lowest injury rate
      • Lowest impact of the standing conveyance exercises
    • CONs:
      • Takes more time to burn the same level of calories as jogging or running

The bottom line:  I think you can easily see why people choose to walk.  You can do it with a repaired ankle.  It can lowered your cholesterol and cardiovascular risk.  Time will tell if it affects your life expectancy or reduces your risk of dementia.  I recommend you consider walking as a form of exercise.  

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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