Belly fat is one of the most stubborn areas to lose weight from. It not only affects your physical appearance but also increases the risk of developing certain health conditions. To combat this issue, people often ask whether they should walk or run to lose belly fat. In this blog, we will evaluate the effectiveness and benefits of both.
Benefits of cardio exercise
Exercise that benefits the heart and cardiovascular system is also known simply as cardio. This type of exercise uses the major muscle groups in the body, speeds up the heart rate and speeds up breathing. Walking and running are just types of cardio exercise.
Cardio exercise offers numerous health benefits, including:
- burning calories and fat for weight loss
- lowering cholesterol levels
- helping to prevent or control diseases, including high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease
- strengthening the heart
- improving the quality of sleep
- reducing stress
- increasing stamina
- improving mental health by reducing anxiety and depression
- increasing bone density
- strengthening the immune system
One study looked at the benefits of exercise for mental health and found that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, such as brisk walking, was enough to reduce anxiety and depression, and established other health benefits.
Which is better for burning calories?
Walking and running provide similar health benefits, but running provides a higher calorie burn than walking. According to the American Council on Exercise, a person weighing 73 kg burns about 15.1 calories per minute while running. In contrast, a person of the same weight burns about 8.7 calories per minute walking.
The number of calories a person burns while walking and running depends on several factors, including:
- body weight
- duration of exercise
Running burns more calories per minute than walking. However, walkers can still burn the same number of calories by walking for longer. However, depending on a person’s goals, walking and running can still offer the same benefits.
Walking versus running to reduce belly fat
Studies have shown that accumulating a lot of fat in the abdominal area is linked to the risk of diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Whether you choose to walk or run, exercise can help you burn belly fat. One study found that regular aerobic exercise, such as walking, reduced belly fat and helped people manage obesity. Walking and running help burn calories in the body, but also help reduce fat, depending on the intensity of the exercise.
However, running may help reduce fat more effectively. One study involving 27 middle-aged women with obesity found that those who relied on high-intensity training lost significantly more belly fat than those who did low-intensity exercise or no training for 16 weeks.
Walking is often considered a low-intensity exercise that may not burn many calories. However, it can be an effective way to lose belly fat if done regularly and for a longer duration. According to a study published in the journal Obesity, people who walked 10,000 steps per day for 12 weeks showed a significant reduction in belly fat. This is because walking helps in improving your metabolism, which in turn helps in burning fat.
Benefits of walking
In addition to burning calories, walking also has other health benefits. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases. A brisk walk for 30 minutes can also help in reducing stress and anxiety.
Running is a high-intensity exercise that can burn more calories than walking. According to research published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, running burns 2.5 times more calories than walking. This may lead to faster weight loss, including belly fat reduction.
Benefits of running
Apart from burning more calories, running also has several health benefits. It improves cardiovascular health, strengthens bones, and boosts the immune system. Running also produces endorphins, which are natural painkillers that help in reducing stress and anxiety.
Comparison between walking and running
To compare the effectiveness of both exercises, we have created the following table:
|Exercise||Calories burned per hour*||Benefits|
|Walking||240||Improves metabolism, cardiovascular health, reduces stress and inflammation|
|Running||590||Improves cardiovascular health, strengthens bones, boosts immunity, reduces stress and anxiety|
*Calories burned per hour are approximations and may vary based on intensity, weight, and other factors.
In conclusion, both walking and running are effective in losing belly fat. However, running burns more calories and may lead to faster weight loss. But, if you’re just starting, walking is an excellent low-impact option that can also help in reducing belly fat. It’s important to choose an exercise that you enjoy and can do consistently. So, whether you walk, run, or do a combination of both, make sure to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly for optimal results.