A lot of runners and walkers will alternate between running and walking throughout a training run or a race. This is sometimes done for a variety of reasons, such as saving energy earlier in the run to increase the chances that you can keep going without needing to break from your pace too often.
However, there are certain circumstances where alternating might not be ideal. For example, if you’re running for interval training purposes, alternating may not be your best option. You’ve probably heard of the benefits of interval training. It has been proven to produce better overall gains in fitness than steady-state training, which is exactly what you might expect. However, depending on the intensity at which you’re alternating, your body may actually benefit more from steady-state training than it would from interval training.
Indeed, alternating between running and walking is a training regimen that, when done properly, may boost your fitness to new heights. Alternating running and walking is a technique that runners have employed to prepare for long-distance marathons for decades. The main difference is that they practice mostly on terrains. Beginners, those returning to exercise after a break, and the elderly may all benefit from it owing to its obvious advantages. This article discusses the amazing advantages of running and walking alternately.
Table of Contents
- Benefits of Alternating between Running and Walking
- Increase Calories Burned in the Body
- Reduces Your Chances of Getting Injuries
- Improves Your Running Performance
- Reduces Fatigue after Workout
- Good for Old Age
- Helps You Live a Longer Life
- Great Test for Endurance
- Improves Your Mood
- Helps Manage Stress
- Improves Sleep
- Builds Strength
- Improved Cardiovascular Fitness
- Walk before You Run
- Run, Walk Method for Beginners
- Can You Walk or Run Every Day?
- At What Speed Does Walking Become Running
- What is alternating running and walking called?
- How many times in a row should I alternate between walking and running to get the best results?
- Is it good to alternate running walking?
- How can I make sure that I am alternating between running and walking in the proper way?
- Can I run and walk on alternate days? If so, how many days per week?
- When should you transition from walking to running?
- When should I begin to run intervals?
- Does alternating running and walking burn more calories?
- Can you lose belly fat by jogging?
- How many calories does jogging burn?
- What should I do if I feel that my legs are not strong enough to run intervals?
- Is it OK to walk run every day?
- Why do we need to walk first before running?
- Why is running so much harder than walking?
Benefits of Alternating between Running and Walking
For those who are running enthusiasts, the question posed to you might be whether or not you should switch up your running regimen by alternating between running and walking. Some runners choose to alternate their workouts all the time, while others never run at all. The answer is that it doesn’t matter whether or not you decide to alternate your workout regimen. You’ll be just as healthy if you go with either option! However, there are some benefits of alternating between running and walking that many people enjoy.
Increase Calories Burned in the Body
One of the reasons runners, in particular, want to alternate their running with walking is that it is an easy way to crush calories burned in their bodies with each exercise session. A large part of weight loss is calculating the number of calories burned every day. If you are running, you can calculate your daily caloric burn by subtracting the calories burned in your previous running session from the number of calories needed for your post-run meal or snack.
For instance, Harvard Medical reports that jogging for 30 minutes burns 298 calories for someone weighing 155 pounds. By contrast, vigorous walking burns about 100-300 calories in the same amount of time. As a result, alternating between running and walking aids in the burning of extra calories in your body. This mobilizes stored fat and converts it to fuel that the body may utilize for energy.
Reduces Your Chances of Getting Injuries
One great benefit of alternating running and walking is that it helps you to prevent injury from occurring. Injuries are a common problem among runners, so there’s nothing unusual about this. When you run, the impact of the movement can damage your joints and bones, especially if your joints are already weak from being inactive for an extended period of time.
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort when jogging, switching to a walk is the best option. This is because walking protects your muscles from the excessive shock and overwork that running causes, which may result in joint and knee damage. Alternate between running and walking while resuming to running after a long-term injury to prevent a recurrence of the problem.
Inhaling carbon dioxide during a jog may be beneficial, but it can also irritate the delicate tissues that surround your lungs. The same can be said for overheating and dehydration. Runners who alternate their running and walking workout sessions will be able to better take care of themselves. They’ll also be able to do so without the fear of injury, which will increase their level of motivation and improve their performance.
Improves Your Running Performance
You’ll be able to run faster and farther when you alternate between running and walking during your workouts. This is because the benefits of alternating exercises allow you to engage in longer training sessions, which translates into more physical exercise. Another reason involves the physiology of the body. When you run for a longer period of time, your body will begin to burn carbohydrates for energy. By comparison, if you are only walking, your body will turn its focus toward burning fat instead.
By alternating between running and walking, your body will be able to burn both fat and carbohydrates at the same time. This helps you to enhance your performance during your workouts, which can lead to faster results when you compare how well you perform after each session. For example, if you walk for 35 minutes and run for 30 minutes, your speed would increase by eight percent if you were to alternate between these exercises. This is a significant amount that can help you reach your weight loss goals.
Reduces Fatigue after Workout
In short, the body will be able to recover from its exertions if you alternate between running and walking. You might understand this as your body’s ability to continue exercising and your muscles not needing to rest for a longer period of time. This benefits everyone who is trying to lose weight by increasing their physical activity level. Perhaps most importantly, however, is that you won’t be excessively tired after the workout. This is because your body will be able to recover faster, which leads to you being able to perform better during your next workout session.
Good for Old Age
In your older years, alternating between jogging and walking is a fantastic way to keep physically active.. Age-related diseases such as obesity and cancer may lead to a sedentary lifestyle for older adults. The rapid increase in these conditions has resulted in an escalating need for health care services that can assist older adults with their progressive weight gain and other ailments.
Exercise is the best remedy for many of the problems that plague older adults, but some people do not have the ability to exercise on their own. In fact, many older adults may have physical limitations that stop them from exercising. In this case, an exercise program that is tailored to the needs of the individual is necessary for optimal treatment and results. Alternating between running and walking is a great way to remain physically active as you age. As we age, we often face a variety of health conditions and injuries that make it difficult to exercise on our own. Even if we can exercise on our own, many of us experience physical limitations that prevent us from doing so.
Helps You Live a Longer Life
Running and walking are both cardiovascular activities that have been scientifically proved to lengthen your life. According to Mayo Clinic research, individuals who walk briskly have a higher life expectancy. According to Harvard Medical School, running regularly reduces your risk of dying from heart attacks and strokes by 45 percent. Therefore, consider how many years the run-walk technique may bring to your life if used properly.
Great Test for Endurance
A running, walking, or any other activity is a true test of your endurance. We do not exercise because it is fun, but because it needs to be done. Once you start exercising regularly, you will realize the benefits of being fit and healthy. Every day, after work or before sleeping, you have got to start with some form or another of activity for better health. Make brief breaks at least twice a day in between each activity for better results. By walking during breaks, lengthy runs become more doable. Walking also aids in temperature regulation while conserving energy for the long haul. Walking assists with running by strengthening the feet, legs, and lungs.
Improves Your Mood
Running and walking alternately are both aerobic exercises that have been shown to enhance your mood. According to this research, running or walking lowers your chances of depression by producing endorphins, which are molecules responsible for combating natural pain and stress and therefore improving your mood. According to studies, 30 minutes of running or walking may totally improve your attitude and ability to accomplish anything.
Helps Manage Stress
Since running and walking are both exercises that improve your mood, it is not difficult to believe that they improve your ability to manage stress as well. Walking decreases cortisol levels, which are responsible for stress. Running also targets specific areas responsible for relieving stress. When you run, you produce endorphins, which act as natural painkillers and suppress the feeling of depression without any side effects.
Women who take regular walks fall asleep more readily than those who do not, according to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Additionally, running has been related to improved sleep, happiness, and overall wellness. As a result, alternating between running and walking days will help you sleep better each night.
Running and walking work all the major muscle groups in your body. These exercises are known to strengthen muscles. They also improve your balance, coordination, and flexibility. Running is a good exercise for strengthening the legs, abdominal muscles, arms, and shoulders. By alternating between running and walking during workouts, you can also strengthen different muscles without causing additional damage to certain areas of your body. According to research about endurance training, long-distance runners were observed to exhibit significant improvements in their muscular strength.
Improved Cardiovascular Fitness
The benefits of running and walking are vast, including better cardiovascular fitness and the prevention of many diseases. Research has shown that running and walking is the single most effective exercise for improving your health. Running and walking can lower your risk of heart disease by up to 47 percent compared with people who are sedentary. When you alternate between sprinting and walking, the organ that is most engaged is your heart. When you exercise, running and walking improve your heart’s ability to pump more blood into your muscles. As a result, you’ll be at a reduced risk of developing heart disease, which has been identified as the leading cause of mortality in the United States.
Walking and running alternate during a workout. One leg will be on the ground, and one leg will be in the air. This alternating action of weight distribution causes the body to use muscles in different areas of the leg, which can further improve muscular endurance by increasing hip flexibility. The correct way to do this is to alternate each step with each lunge or stride. If you have any health problems, talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program. Heart issues, asthma, high blood pressure, or diabetes are all examples. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Walk before You Run
If you are looking to lose weight, there is a clear answer- you have to run. Running can be the greatest approach to get in shape if you want to lose weight. But what if your goal is just to stay active? A good rule of thumb is alternating between walking and running whenever possible. Walking will help your muscles relax while running expends them at an intense pace.
If you’ve had an injury, you should be able to walk pain-free for at least 30-45 minutes. If you are unable to, refrain from running for the time being. Your initial aim should be to be able to walk for 30–45 minutes. Walking assists in preparing your tendons, ligaments, and muscles for the rigors of running. Thus, being able to walk before running helps to acclimate your muscles and prepares them for the demands of running.
Run, Walk Method for Beginners
Many people want to start running but don’t know where to start. Here is an easy way for beginners to help them build endurance, lose weight, and get into shape without having to run long distances at first. This workout combines three simple exercises: walking, sprinting, and jogging. By alternating between these exercises for twenty minutes with a two-minute break every five minutes, you will be able to master all of the benefits runnings can offer.
The following workout is designed to be performed four days a week for three weeks. After about six weeks of doing this workout, you should begin to notice an increase in endurance, reduced body fat, and increased muscles in your legs and core. This workout will not improve your cardiovascular abilities or endurance unless done correctly (with rest in between sprints and jogging).
Each exercise must be performed for about one minute, followed by a five-minute break before moving on to the next exercise.
- Begin with a vigorous five-minute walk to warm up. Then, extend your legs — calf and hamstring. After that, begin running and run for 1 minute, followed by 2 minutes of walking. This is a 1:2 ratio. If you believe that ratio is excessive, reduce it to 1:3, run for one minute, then walk for three minutes.
- Rep the preceding cycle until you reach your desired distance or time. If you want to run/walk for 18 minutes, for example, you would repeat the 1:2 walk-run ratio six times.
- Ensure that you begin the walk portion of the cycle on time. By beginning the walk portion on time, you will allow your body and muscles to recover faster, allowing you to cover a greater distance. If you wait too long to begin walking, your body will get tired and will be unable to resume running at the conclusion of your walk period.
- While walking, maintain a fast pace. Avoid walking too slowly. By maintaining a fast walking speed, you may maintain cardiovascular advantages while also making the transition back to running simpler.
If you continue in this manner and are patient, you will soon find yourself switching between running and walking less. However, do not regard walking as a negative activity. Many experienced runners understand that pausing for brief walks reduces the stress on the body and helps in muscle recovery. Running and walking alternately is an excellent training technique for both novice and experienced runners.
Can You Walk or Run Every Day?
It’s not a terrible thing to do what you love on a daily basis. Certain individuals may run or walk every day out of sheer devotion. However, if you want to get the advantages of running, it’s prudent to allow your body to cool down and recuperate on occasion. If you run every day, the likelihood is that you will get burned out. Allowing your body to rest allows it to react to new stimuli, making you stronger the next time you exercise. If you run every day on a consistent basis, your body becomes accustomed to running.
Daily running also puts an excessive amount of strain on your knees, putting you prone to injury. On the other hand, walking relieves strain on your joints while also increasing your calorie burn. As a result, you may walk every day since it is both safe and useful. Despite being a less strenuous activity than running, walking has certain distinct benefits. Walking is ideal for people who live far away from their place of employment. It allows you to save time and money while also not exposing yourself to unnecessary stress.
At What Speed Does Walking Become Running
Any walking pace greater than five mph is considered running. However, running speeds vary according to the person and their degree of fitness. Some individuals run at a slower pace of less than five mph, while others go faster. As a result, alter your running pace to meet your heart rate.
Running a long-distance may be psychologically taxing. Thus, alternating between jogging and walking will help you remain focused and motivated while also improving your overall fitness level. Alternating between these two exercises will make your training much more manageable and enjoyable. Therefore, integrate running and walking into your daily routine to get the obvious health advantages.
What is alternating running and walking called?
It’s called running intervals.
How many times in a row should I alternate between walking and running to get the best results?
It varies depending on your current level of fitness, but alternating every one or two minutes is generally considered a good rule of thumb for beginning runners.
Is it good to alternate running walking?
It is considered to be a better alternative to walking as you are still getting a workout but at a slightly reduced level.
How can I make sure that I am alternating between running and walking in the proper way?
There are several rules of thumb when it comes to alternating your run with walk periods.
- Your heart rate should be the same (or very close) throughout your workout.
- You should walk at least as far as you run.
- Your heart rate should be the same (or very close) throughout your workout. For example, if you are doing intervals on a track with an 8-minute run and 2-minute walk, you would do four intervals of 2 minutes each or 16 minutes of running with four intervals of one minute each.
- You should walk at least as far as you run. So if you run for 8 minutes in one interval, you should walk for eight minutes in the next interval.
- Alternate with a running and walking speed that is comfortable for you, but do not allow your heart rate to increase more than 5% during the walk period.
Can I run and walk on alternate days? If so, how many days per week?
Yes, walking is just as good as running for endurance and gaining fitness. You can do a combination of both on the same day, or you can alternate running and walking on different days. You can do a combination of both on the same day, or you can alternate running and walking every other day.
When should you transition from walking to running?
The best time to transition is when you first start running. Do not start running right away, but smooth it out over the next several weeks of running by walking some at first, then gradually increasing your speed.
When should I begin to run intervals?
Before beginning an intense interval workout on the track, where runners walk for longer than they run, gradually increase your running pace until you are able to jog continuously for the same distance that you walk.
Does alternating running and walking burn more calories?
Yes. Compared to walking, running burns more calories because your heart has to work harder and longer.
Can you lose belly fat by jogging?
We think that increasing the impact and friction of jogging and walking (running intervals) may help to burn stored fat because the extra effort requires more oxygen, and more oxygen generates more energy.
How many calories does jogging burn?
A vigorous jog like a mile (1.6 km) burns about 400 calories, but you can burn slightly more or slightly less depending on your weight and speed.
What should I do if I feel that my legs are not strong enough to run intervals?
You should gradually increase the distance of your intervals to make sure that you are able to maintain your speed even when running longer distances.
Is it OK to walk run every day?
No, we do not recommend walking-running every day because doing so may cause your muscles and joints to become injured and inflamed. You can do intervals with a day’s rest in between if you feel that you need to do intervals 2-3 times per week.
Why do we need to walk first before running?
- The muscles and joints need time to warm up.
- This helps you to avoid injury (like shin splints).
- It helps you to gradually increase your running speed during the interval workout.
Why is running so much harder than walking?
Running is great for cardiovascular fitness, but it is also much harder on your body because it taxes your breathing, heart, and muscles to a greater degree than walking.