I am NOT fat. I have started exercising only for mental freshness and general fitness.

Actually I tried 300 jogs today and could complete them in mere 5-7 minutes, and was tired after that.

Is is preferred to do:
1. A brisk walk (which is less tiring, and more time consuming) for about 15 minutes?
2. Keep on jogging until you get tired (which results in less time consumption, but is more tiring)?

I think, a brisk walk for 15 minutes will be equally tiresome as 300-400 non stop jogs.

No, I am NOT short on time.
I just wish to know the pros and cons of the above, and which one should be preferred and why?
Does it make any difference?


3 Answers 3


Low-intensity exercise is more effective in the short run. Since you can keep going much longer, you can (potentially) burn more calories, which (in the short run) is better for fat loss. In the long run, however, low-intensity exercise has only limited adaptive effects. That is, it doesn't make you that much fitter, it doesn't change how your metabolism works very much, but it mostly induces a one-time calorie deficit every time you do it.

High-intensity exercise is more effective in the long run. Although you (usually) burn less calories, especially as a beginner with low stamina, high-intensity training is a challenge to your body which, over time, leads to an adaptive response. The exact details are not well understood, but the idea is that your body "learns" that it has to face periods of extreme stress, and thus tries to adapt to that stress.

Just like your biceps will grow when you do lots of biceps curls, your aerobic exercise capacity (and also stress capacity) will grow when challenged. Low-intensity exercise is like doing biceps curls with an empty soda bottle: It may be enough to prevent muscle loss, but it's not enough of a challenge to induce an adaptive response. If you truly want to improve, you need to get out the heavy weights.

Since the adaptation takes a while, however, you will feel worse for a few hours or even days after an intense workout, while you'd feel better after a less intense workout. Similarly, your biceps will become weaker shortly after exhausting it with heavy weights, but that's the only way to make it stronger in the long run.

Conclusion: Low-intensity if all you want is to work off the turkey after Thanksgiving. High-intensity if you have patience and want to induce fundamental adaptations which make you stronger, leaner, faster, more stress-resistant, and so on.


Walking Is Only Barely Exercise

As noted in another answer, walking is simply not enough for general fitness. See that answer for the details, science and references, but the short version is:

  • From a health perspective, walking at a moderate or slow pace is really only useful as a stepping stone to more intense exercise. If that's all you can do, great! Do that and work towards more strenuous exercise.
  • Walking briskly for a significant amount of time every day will provide the bare minimum of recommended activity.
  • Running, playing sports, and lifting heavy weights will provide the health and fitness benefits we're after.

Run and Lift Frequently

Key point: you want vigorous exercise every day, plus resistance training (lifting weights) twice a week or more to get real health benefits. No, most of us don't do that much. Yes, most of us will feel the ill effects of ignoring our bodies' needs.

  • Yes, I realized from the other thread. Thanks. Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 23:35

It's a different style of training. Shorter, higher intensity work will raise your heart rate more, and cause your muscles to work harder. Now if you want to know the relative calorie expenditure of walking 5 minutes or jogging 300 steps (I assume that's what you mean by 300 non stop jogs), that's a little harder to measure.

The basic problem is that you will be expending more energy the first time you push your body harder than you have in the past. Let's face it, walking is not very taxing, but it is better than sitting in front of a computer screen all day. Your body will respond by getting a bit stronger so that it can support that kind of work. The next time you do it, you won't be expending as much energy as before. It will become easier, so the heart rate doesn't get up quite as high.

Ideally, you'll add a little more work each time. That builds up your heart strength and optimizes your muscles to respond the way you train them. In general, the more you improve your cardiovascular strength, the healthier you will be in the long run. The jogging helps that much better than walking.


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