People start running for a multitude of reasons–reducing stress, boosting energy, or losing weight, just to name a few. In addition, running can improve your mood, keep your heart healthy, and stave off sickness. However, (depending on your personal goals) going full speed is not the only route to good health.
While walking can provide many of the same health benefits associated with running, there is increasing evidence that suggests that running may be best for weight loss. People expend 2.5 times more energy running than walking, whether that’s on the track or on the treadmill. This means that for a 160 lb individual (for example), running at a speed of 8 mph would burn over 800 calories/hour compared to around 300 calories/hour walking at 3.5 mph. And when equal amounts of energy were expended (meaning that walkers spent more time exercising), one study found that runners still lost more weight. In this particular study, the runners also had a better chance of maintaining their BMI (Body Mass Index) and waist circumference.