7 Benefits of Alternating Between Running and Walking

Why walk if you can run? Many runners usually adopt the attitude of getting through their miles quickly rather than taking their time with a slower stride. However, much like how doing speed workouts and recovery runs both provide unique advantages, the same goes for performing walking workouts.

Yes, workouts. Jogging from one place to another is not only an effective mode of transportation but a way to help you reach your desired running goals.

And pure walking—not the run-walk method—is getting more popular. How exactly can integrating more walks benefit regular runners? The experts break it down.

7 Benefits of Alternating between Running and Walking

1. Increase Calories Burned in the Body

A major factor in losing weight is calculating the number of calories that are burned daily. To ascertain the number of calories you have burned from your running, subtract the number of calories you consumed with your post-run meal or snack from the calories burned in your preceding running session.

According to Harvard Medical, if a person who weighs 155 pounds jogs for a half hour, they will burn 298 calories. In comparison, walking fast can burn between 100-300 calories in the same period. Switching between running and walking will help your body to burn additional calories. This triggers the use of fat that has been stored in the body, transforming it into a usable source of energy for the body.

2. Reduces Your Chances of Getting Injuries

It is not strange that runners often get hurt, so this is nothing out of the ordinary. When you jog, the force of the exercise can be harmful to your joints and bones, especially if they have not been used much in an extended period.

If you are having aches or uneasiness while running, moving to a stroll is the optimal choice. Walking can help to guard your muscles against the too-severe impacts and overuse that running can produce, which may lead to knee and joint damage. Switch between jogging and walking as you return to running after a serious injury to avoid a reoccurrence of the issue.

Taking in carbon dioxide while running may be advantageous, however, it can also irritate the delicate membranes around your respiratory organs. The same can be said for overheating and dehydration. People who incorporate jogging and walking into their exercise regimen will be better able to look after their health. They should be able to carry out their activity without any danger of being hurt, which will encourage them to work harder and improve their results.

3. Improves Your Running Performance

By taking breaks to walk during your exercises, you will be able to travel farther and move more quickly. Switching between exercises allows for longer workouts, resulting in more physical activity.

Another reason involves the physiology of the body. If you go for a jog or other form of extended exercise, your body will start to utilize carbohydrates as fuel. In contrast, if you are just walking, your body will instead concentrate its energy on burning fat.

By switching between jogging and walking, you can use both fat and carbohydrates as energy sources simultaneously. This can upgrade your execution during your exercises, prompting quicker outcomes when you analyze your advancement following each meeting. If you were to alternate between walking for 35 minutes and running for 30 minutes, your speed would be increased by eight per cent. This is a large quantity that can aid you in achieving your desired weight objectives.

4. Reduces Fatigue After Workout

In summary, if you alternate between running and walking, your body will be able to rest and restore itself from the physical effort. This could be seen as your body’s capacity to carry on doing physical activity for an extended period without having to take a break for your muscles.

This advantage applies to all people who wish to shed pounds by ramping up their physical activity levels. It is especially noteworthy that you will not be overly exhausted following your exercise routine. This means that your body will be able to bounce back more quickly, making it possible for you to do better the next time you train.

5. Good for Old Age

If you are of advanced age, switching between running and strolling is a great way to stay in shape. Seniors may be prone to conditions like obesity and cancer which may result in them living an inactive lifestyle. The quick rise of these disorders has caused a growing demand for healthcare services that can help elderly persons with their continuing weight increase and other medical issues.

Exercise is a fantastic way of dealing with the standard issues experienced by seniors, yet some individuals are unable to do physical activities on their own. Older adults may have physical debilities that prevent them from engaging in physical activity. For the best treatment and outcomes, it is essential to develop an exercise regimen that is tailored to the specific requirements of the person.

Switching between jogging and walking is a good way to stay active and in shape as you get older. As we get older, we frequently confront many medical issues and accidents that make it hard to exercise independently. Even if it’s possible for us to work out by ourselves, many of us have physical constraints that make it difficult to do so.

6. Helps You Live a Longer Life

Evidence has been found to suggest that committing to a regular routine of running and walking can increase lifespan. These two activities are considered cardiovascular exercises and are beneficial for the body. Mayo Clinic studies suggest that those who take part in a brisk walk have a greater lifespan. Having a running routine can cut down your chances of passing away due to a heart attack or a stroke by almost half. Think about how much extra time could be added to your life if the run-walk strategy is employed correctly.

You should incorporate some kind of exercise into your daily routine, either before or after work, to promote better health. Take a few minutes away from each task a few times a day to get the best possible results.

By walking during breaks, lengthy runs become more doable. Going for a stroll helps maintain the correct body temperature while saving up energy for the longer term. Going on hikes helps to improve your running abilities by making your feet, legs, and lungs stronger.

7. Improves Your Mood

Walking decreases cortisol levels, which are responsible for stress. Running also targets specific areas responsible for relieving stress. When you go for a jog, you create endorphins which act as a natural form of anaesthesia, abating depression without any potential repercussions.

8. Helps Manage Stress

Switching between running and walking is an aerobic activity that has been demonstrated to boost your emotional state. This study shows that when running or strolling, endorphins are triggered. Endorphins are molecules that have been proven to fight off physical and psychological pain, consequently increasing happiness levels. Research also suggests that 30 minutes of running or walking can totally brighten your outlook and give you the drive to accomplish anything.

9. Improves Sleep

Individuals of the female gender who go out for frequent strolls can settle down to sleep more easily in comparison to those who habitually stay indoors, based on an investigation conducted by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Furthermore, exercising with running has been seen to bring about better sleep, a sense of joy, and general well-being. Switching between running and walking days can lead to you having a more restful sleep every night.

10. Builds Strength

Jogging and strolling exercise all the major muscles in your body. Jogging can be a beneficial form of exercise for tightening the limbs, abdominal area, arms, and humeri. Switching between jogging and walking during exercise routines strengthens different muscle groups while avoiding inflicting harm to the body.

11. Improved Cardiovascular Fitness

When you switch between running fast and strolling, your heart is the most active organ. Engaging in running and walking when you exercise can help to increase the capacity of your heart to push more blood to your muscles. Consequently, the likelihood of getting heart disease, the top killer in the U.S., will be lessened.

12. Safety

Walking and running alternate during a workout. One leg will be planted on the floor, while the other will be raised upward. The alternating shift in the way the body’s weight is carried induces the muscles in various elements of the leg to be used, thus boosting hip suppleness and boosting muscular persistence. To achieve the desired result, you should alternate each step you take with a lunge or stride. Before beginning an exercise routine, it is suggested that you consult your doctor if you have any health concerns. Examples of illnesses include heart problems, asthma, hypertension, and diabetes. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

How to Incorporate Walking into Your Training

To conclude: Taking a stroll is a type of active healing, which makes it perfect after a long run. According to Milton, the healing process reduces the natural reflex of flight or fight one experiences and heightens the effect of the body’s inclination to rest and digest. At that point, hormone levels go up and our body structure made up of bone, ligaments, tendons, and muscles is renewed. Our bodies contain cells that can demolish damaged tissue and replace it with fresh, healthier, and stronger tissue. This entails substituting red blood corpuscles, forming collagen, muscle protein and osseous cells.

Once you finish a long run, Hamilton recommends that you take a 10 to 20-minute break and then walk for 30 to 60 seconds for each mile you ran. That will begin the process of restoring health and vigour, so you will have more energy the next time you exercise. An extra benefit: this is a good strategy for quickly getting both liquid and energy after your exercise, and it will also aid your recuperation.

Hamilton states that most people don’t need to exercise twice daily, but if a person wants to boost their total mileage and cannot do this in one workout, the intensity of the second workout should be much lower, especially if they are just starting out with two-a-days.

You can still get your heart rate up with a second session of walking, and it helps minimize the pressure you put on your bones, Hamilton says. “That’s going to reduce the risk of overuse injuries and allow you a little bit more active recovery time.” That active recovery element is especially beneficial because, while you’re still logging time on your feet, you’re increasing blood flow to your working muscles, which “brings in nutrients and other things that are necessary for tissue repair and regeneration,” says Hamilton.

Instead of taking it easy during runs: You are helping your muscles to gain more mitochondria, capillaries, and better blood flow, so they can use oxygen more effectively. Going for a stroll induces a lot of the same changes, Hamilton claims – not forcing extra distress and banging on your tissues, joints, and ligaments.

No specific distance has been identified as the ideal amount of walking to do, but research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that taking a 15-minute walk is just as beneficial as a 5-minute jog. Hamilton suggests that you can utilize the formula to switch a 20-minute easy run into a 60-minute walk, or just think of it in terms of the amount of time you would have been running. How much time do you spend running three to four miles? Is it around 25 to 35 minutes? It’s not likely that you will travel the same distance on foot as you would over a long period, yet you will still reap the positive effects of spending time on your feet.

How to Walk Well

Strolling is one of the most instinctive activities we partake in. If you plan to take a walk as an exercise, certain steps should be taken to get the most out of it.

  • Set a brisk pace. It’s not power walking, but rather, a conversational-but-“have somewhere to be” pace. Walking between 2.5 and 4 miles per hour (or 24 and 15 minutes per mile) counts as moderate-intensity activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Maintain your form: Don’t feel like you need to really pump it, taking big strides and swinging your arms. Stand tall, keep your eyes up, flex your elbows so your arms swing is natural and relaxed, and keep your feet under you, just like you do when you’re running.
  • Squeeze your glutes: Running requires a powerful push-off generated mostly through glute activation and strength; practice this muscle activation while walking to reinforce good running biomechanics. (It can be easier to focus when you’re moving slower and with less impact.)


Running a long distance may be psychologically taxing. By swapping between running and strolling, you can keep your attention and inspiration high, as well as improve your overall physical fitness. Switching between these two exercises will make your workout much easier to complete and more pleasurable. Include jogging and walking in your daily life to gain numerous health benefits.



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