Walking can be a great (and easy) way to start a daily exercise routine to aid weight loss and improve health. While there are plenty of ways to progress your walking workouts, one way to up your intensity and reach new goals is to include short bouts of running. Use this guide to determine if a walk/run program is a good idea for you:
Even if you consider yourself a walker and aren’t interested in running long distances in the future, including short running intervals during walks can be beneficial to overall health and fitness. Running short distances helps elevate your heart rate, resulting in better cardiovascular fitness. Including running intervals also works different muscle groups to improve overall strength and can help you bust through a weight-loss plateau. Finally, you’ll burn more calories and cover longer distances in less time, which can be especially helpful if you’re on a time crunch.
Keep these things in mind when deciding whether including running in your walking routine is right for you:
- Pre-existing injuries: Running can be harder on the joints, so if you have a hip or knee injury or have dealt with these issues in the past, consult with your doctor before getting started.
- Gear: If you have a dedicated pair of walking shoes, you might want to consider a new pair that you can run short distances in.
- Hydration: Because running, even for short periods, can be a much more intense form of exercise, make sure you are well hydrated. Carry water or a sports drink during your workout if you’re exercising for more than an hour.
- Digestion: While walking after a meal can aid digestion, running can be harder on the stomach, so it’s a good idea to avoid large meals before you workout.