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The Bullhorn, Issue #030 -- Monthly Motivator for September 2008
September 15, 2008

Just the right push to succeed!

Running vs Walking

I know that many of my articles and posts deal with running. And that’s largely due to my background and experiences. But what is the difference between walking a mile and running a mile? There are pros and cons to each activity and you might be surprised at the similarities and differences.

Depending on your weight, you’ll burn approximately 100 calories for every mile that you walk or run. And while running might burn a bit more calories than walking, mile-for-mile the two activities are very close in the calorie-burning comparison.

Walking is also an activity that can be done with little disruption or gear. You can walk at lunch without having to get a shower before heading back to the office. There is far less pounding of the joints with walking, as compared to running. And walking can be mixed into the day for local errands and other short trips.

Running, on the other hand, can burn calories quicker for those with less time. For example, running 5 hours a week at 7 mph will result in 35 miles of running or 3,500 calories burned. Walking 5 hours per week at 3 mph results in 15 miles of walking or approximately 1,500 calories burned.

So what’s the right answer? The one that works for you! If you find a healthy activity that works with your routine, than stick with it. My wife recently took up daily walking which has turned into a steady part of her routine (and our dog’s ;-). In a little less than a month, she has walked nearly 90 miles! She’s found something that she enjoys. And the best part is that she’s made it part of her daily routine and found a good long-term habit.

If goals and competition motivate you, try running. Running is a great and healthy hobby where you can burn calories, strengthen your heart, and enjoy races throughout your community, country and even the world…not to mention the collection of cool T-shirts and finisher medals that you’re likely to accumulate. If you’re pressed for time, a 3-mile run is much easier to squeeze in your schedule than a 3-mile walk. One downside of running is that you have to pay special attention to your body to prevent injuries, as running injuries can be quite common. Replacing shoes can get expensive, but it’s worth the fresh cushioning.

Walking can be relaxing and a way to escape the daily grime. You can do it almost anywhere and at anytime. It also takes you out of the house and away from the kitchen cabinets. And while it takes more time to cover the same mileage as running, the pounding on your joints is much less.

There’s no saying that you have to choose…do both if you want to! Walking can be a terrific addition to a running routine and vice versa. If you don’t have time to run and shower at the office, why not get out and go for a stroll? And if you’ve been walking for years, why not add a few sections of jogging in the middle? You might find yourself with a new hobby for years to come!

To check out the difference in calories burned between walking and running, try this calculator. Also, if you’re just starting out, here’s a 10-week Beginner’s Running Plan.

The Reality Motivator

Nothing sparks motivation for a fitness routine like that unsuspecting beach photo. Why? Because there you are. You’re not showing your good side, sucking in your gut, or posing. It’s how the rest of world sees us and often times we’re not ready for such a cold dose of reality.

Facing reality is often the hardest hurdle in any fitness plan…no matter where we are. It takes an objective view, and vantage point from the outside looking in, to really help us really improve. It really is worth the time to evaluate your current state of health, fitness, and athletic performance. Go into it open-minded and be prepared to get to the bottom of the habits that you need to change to improve the quality of your life.

Step 1 of our fitness plan is the most critical step. In order to define our starting point, we need to do the honest self-assessment discussed above. We need to not only weigh ourselves, but we also need to measure ourselves as well. Before we can plot a path to where we want to be, we have to know where it is that we’re starting from. We also need to write down what it is that we eat each day and how much we exercise. Again, these self-assessments are well worth the time and effort that you put into them. Many people keep maintenance logs on the their cars…why not keep one on your most valuable possession: YOU.

Most of us think we’re in better shape than we really are. Our minds tend to tell us what we want to hear and shield us from the reality that many of us would rather ignore. And sometimes it takes seeing a photo of ourselves to give us a jolt. This jolt is not a bad thing. It’s far better to face the facts and deal with them than it is to live day-to-day in a state of denial. If you don’t have a good picture to motivate you, try a full-length mirror or put your height & weight into a BMI calculator to see where you are and need to be.

A self-assessment is only depressing if you plan to do nothing about it. Otherwise is in an extremely empowering and positive experience. Measuring your waist or hips as you write down your fitness goals is like standing at the bottom of a mountain trail and envisioning the view from the top. There’s a lot of hard work to get from one point to the other, but it’s well worth the journey…not to mention the view ;-). Best of luck!

Exercise of the Month:
Flutter Kicks!

Flutter kicks are a favorite punishment of drill sergeants and coaches all around the globe, but don’t let that scare you away…they’re also a great abdominal exercise. Lie on your back and place your hands at your sides or underneath your bottom. Raise both of your feet approximately six inches from the floor…you’re now ready to begin! Lower your left leg up and as you lower it down raise your right leg up. Keep your legs straight and don’t let your feet touch the floor. Try doing these in 4-count repetitions…one for each “kick” (Example: “1-2-3-One-1-2-3-Two-1-2-3-Three…and so on). Start off with 15 4-count exercises and work up to 25…it’s a great ab workout…enjoy!

Sound Off!

If you have any feedback (positive or negative), success stories to share, or suggestions for future articles, please feel free to drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you and we take all feedback, suggestions...and yes, even criticism very seriously. We’ll use this information to improve our newsletter and The Fitness Motivator site to help you and others like you attain your fitness goals.

Encouragement to Succeed!

P.S. - Please feel free to forward this to a friend!

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