COMPARABLE BENEFITS OF WALKING, RUNNING, AND BIKING

Take one step out onto Stadium Drive and you immediately run the risk of being bumped into by a speed walker late to their next class, dodged by a runner looking to burn some extra calories in their spare time, or possibly pummeled by a biker swerving in and out of pedestrian traffic. While also avoiding possible injury, one may wonder which method of transport is most beneficial from a fitness perspective.

Of course, either one of these three exercises is better for the body than remaining stationary in a car. There is no doubt that driving is faster, easier and more convenient. However, taking the initiative to walk to and around campus (as long as it’s a reasonable distance) can make a huge difference. Brisk walking is considered a great weight bearing exercise that stresses bones and muscles in a way that can improve bone health. While walking at a 4 mile-per-hour pace, one can burn around 360 calories per hour. Increasing your walk to a slow jog at 5 miles-per-hour can burn up to 700 calories. Although walking and jogging does not provide the same overall benefits as a good run or long bike ride, it is a valuable step towards increasing your fitness and ultimate health.

The more complicated question is the difference between biking and running. Biking, on one hand, is faster and can get you further in a shorter period of time. However, it is not safe to assume that everybody can maneuver a bike well enough to avoid the constant hustle and bustle on campus, but riding a stationary bike at the gym is a good alternative that will provide the same benefits without the scenery. Biking is a good, low-impact exercise for those not looking to put too much strain on their hips, knees, or ankles or back. It doesn’t burn as many calories as running due to the fact that the bicycle is supporting your weight, but pedaling at a steady 16 to 19 miles-per-hour will still burn about 850 calories.

Running, on the other hand, is a higher impact activity that can result in injury and may require more time and energy to get to the same place. However, you are rewarded for your added input with a higher calorie output. Running at a brisk 8 mile-per-hour pace for an hour can burn up to 1200 calories. Like walking, running is also considered a weight bearing exercise and has been known to increase bone strength and density in a positive way. Running is also a better fat burner and is more likely to boost your metabolism. So despite the high impact and running risk of injury to joints, running does seem to provide a better workout if you’re looking to not only get in shape but burn fat and increase bone strength as well.

Despite these differences, any type of physical activity is good for your health whether it be of high intensity or low intensity. Starting off your daily routine with a half hour walk and slowly increasing the intensity of your exercise as each day goes by will make a huge difference to your body and health.

Writer: Emma Regenbaum

Information taken from these websites:

http://grist.org/list/biking-is-the-best-way-to-get-somewhere-fast-while-getting-in-shape/

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/29/ask-well-is-it-better-to-bike-or-run/?_r=0

http://www.livestrong.com/article/111669-biking-vs.-running-effective-weight/

 

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