So, this could be called Exercise Myth #2, in keeping with our recent theme.  But what I want to point out is that contrary to popular belief, running and walking are NOT the same.  The premise goes like this….if you run a mile or walk a mile, it doesn’t matter.  Since you went the same distance, you will have burned the same amount of calories.  Shorter and harder in the run and slower and easier in the walk, but the ultimate effect is the same.  Well, as it turns out, that is completely untrue.  In a study published in 2010, we conclusively proved the following.   Bear with me for a second, and I’ll explain fully.

RUNNING –  VO2 = (0.2 x speed) + (0.9 x speed x grade) + 3.5

WALKING – VO2 = (0.1 x speed) + (1.8 x speed x grade) +3.5

OK, so here we go.  Take 2 people, one walker at 3.0 mph (a good pace), and one runner at 7.5 mph (about an 8 minute mile).  Now, in theory, they should burn the same amount of calories in the long run, right (pardon the pun).  But lets do the math.  If we follow our formula for the runner, (0.2 x 7.5) + (0.9 x 7.5 x 0) + 3.5, we come up with a caloric expenditure of about 114 calories expended in 8 minutes (after we get the VO2, we can convert to kcal/minute.  Trust me on this one).  Anyway, if we do the same for our walker, we come up with the following…(0.1 x 3.0) + (1.8 x 3.0 x 0) +3.5, and after our conversions, we get a caloric expenditure of  only 75 calories in more than double the time.  The difference comes out to about 52% for those keeping score at home.  So, it’s not the same thing.  Walking and running are NOT equivalent provided you go the same distance.  The walker would have had to walk an additional 12 minutes ON TOP OF the 20 minutes already accomplished to equal what the runner did in just 8.

So, the ultimate answer, as always, is work harder.  Good day!

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