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I’ve been doing a lot or research lately as I try to get my fitness lifestyle back on track. If you’re a long time follower of our blog, you know that S & I did a cleanse in the fall of last year and were hitting the gym hard!  Well after a whirlwind trip to the Dominican where we ate and drank whatever we wanted, it was hard to get back on track when life set in again.  I mean, let’s be honest, if our fitness isn’t made a priority it’s one of the first things we let go of when we get busy!

So i’ve been reading a series of articles like this one: Is it Better to Walk or Run where they talk about outcome!  If you’re like me, you’re probably trying to shed some extra pounds.  Some studies have been done that suggest that you can burn the same number of calories, walking or running, but the after burn from running and the decrease in the calorie cravings often help runners lose and maintain BMI and waistline.

However: “If your goal is exercising for overall health and to improve your longevity, then walking is ideal,” James O’Keefe.  In this article: How Walking is Healthier Than Running, the author, O’Keefe, suggests that the intense level of exercising has different effects on your body and maintains that moving into a less aggressive approach for the long term is a better model for longevity.  So if you’ve hit your weight loss goals or your comfortable with your weight, then the intensity of your workouts doesn’t need to be on screech.  If you’re training for a marathon, well that’s just a different story.

What i’ve learned over the last couple of years, is that you need to lift weights.  Women particularly. I’ve walked the 50 mile challenge walk in Cape Cod for MS Research for the last three years.  The first year I was lifting, walking, and going to the gym 3-5 days per week and I felt great. I little tightness in my legs from over-use, but no lasting effects.  The second year I walked, I wasn’t doing any lifting, but I was walking my dogs 4 miles a day, every day, and doing long 8,10,12 mile walks on the weekends. My IT band hurt for 6 months after the walk that year. This year, I wasn’t walking hardly at all and I started my weight lifting a little late, 12 weeks before the walk. Although my legs were strong, my feet and arms paid the price of overuse after having done very little walking.

So what i’m saying: Is walking better then running, well that completely depends on the outcome you’re looking for.  One of the plans I love to follow is the 5-factor diet. It’s a lifestyle and exercise plan. I say lifestyle, because the word diet has a really bad taste in most peoples mouths.  There are 5 factor that should be in every meal you eat, you should eat 5 times a day, and you should exercise 5 days a week, and you should do 5 activities while at the gym: cardio warm up, 2 lifting exercises, abs, cardio (5-30 minutes). You can learn more about Harley Pasternak and the 5 factors HERE! I know i’ve talked about him before, but even he suggests that maybe running isn’t best for everyone.

And lets face it, other then the people who actually like to run, the rest of us do it to stay in shape or because we think we have to, begrudging it the whole time. So maybe you don’t really have to run. Just a thought!

But if you do want to run, I love the C25K app on my iPhone! Couch to 5K in 9 weeks! Start small and build your way up, it takes forever to get in shape, but if you build on it a little bit at at time, you’ll do great!

Have a great week! ~ Em