Both power walking and jogging produce good health benefits. For people already in good shape who can handle the joint-pounding abuse jogging can cause, jogging might be the better overall exercise, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. However, not everyone can handle the jarring and pounding that often accompanies jogging. Power walking is the healthier exercise for most people for several reasons.
Easier on the Joints
Between walking and jogging, the former is easier on the knees, hips, heels, shins and back. Jogging can cause shin splints, runner's knee or hamstring strains. You don't have to worry as much about injuries with power walking as you do with jogging, and you get almost the same benefits from walking as you do from jogging. Power walking can strengthen your bones, help your cardiovascular system and tone your muscles.
Burns More Fat
Fat burning occurs with longer duration exercises. The key to burning fat is to engage in an activity at a steady pace for a long duration. The longer you can keep the same pace and intensity the more fat you burn. You are likely to maintain a fast walking pace for a longer time than you can maintain a steady jogging pace.
What Jogging Entails
"Webster's New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition" states that to jog is "to move along at a slow, steady, jolting pace or trot." A pace slower than 6 mph is considered jogging. It is a more intensive form of movement than walking, but it is not as intense as running and doesn't bring the same benefits. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, any increase in bone mass from jogging inexplicably tops out at 25 to 30 miles a week. "For women," the center notes on its website, "overtraining may lead to the female athlete triad, a combination of eating disorders, halting of menstrual periods, and a weakening of the bones."
Power Walking Vs. Walking
Power walking is not the same as taking a stroll around your neighborhood after dinner. It is a specific exercise that requires a certain form and intensity level. You must keep up a brisk pace. You should still be able to converse while power walking, but you won't be able to sing. You should have good posture by standing tall and by holding the tummy muscles in. Squeezing the buttocks gives that area an extra workout. You can also swivel your hips some as you walk because that helps to burn more calories, fitness trainer Nicki Waterman told MailOnline.
- University of Rochester Medical Center: Jog or Walk? Both Boost Your Health
- Upstate Medical University: Running or Jogging
- MailOnline: Why a Walking Workout Is Good for Your Body
- BBC: Are You Running Properly?
- Webster's New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition; Michael Agnes, Editor in Chief