Walking, jogging, running, and sprinting are excellent forms of cardio and fall into different categories of cardiovascular exercise. Cardiovascular exercise is crucial for a range of health benefits, including greater fat loss, lower blood pressure, and improved heart function.
Walking is described as a low-intensity steady state (LISS) form of cardio, where the heart rate is maintained between 50 and 65 percent of the maximum heart rate. Jogging, on the other hand, is ideal for covering long distances and improving your stamina without running out of gas, but you are likely to tire out much faster than if you had walked the same distance.
When comparing walking vs. jogging, the former is more sustainable because it requires less physical effort since your heart rate is maintained at a lower level. You are likely to exert yourself more if you go for a jog, which may still fall into the category of LISS if you maintain your heart rate at 65 percent or below its maximum.
Additionally, it is easier to walk long distances than to jog the same. Jogging also works to improve your overall stamina much more effectively. Most people can walk great distances but cannot jog for more than a kilometer without catching their breath. While both are excellent forms of cardiovascular exercise, they play different roles in improving your cardiovascular function.
Running and sprinting are both step-ups from walking and jogging in terms of intensity. Sprinting falls into the category of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), where the heart rate is maintained between 70 and 95 percent of the maximum heart rate. Running doesn’t target your max speed as efficiently as sprinting but plays an important role in improving your overall health, stamina and cardiovascular capacity.
When comparing running vs. sprinting, the latter involves an all-out burst of speed, which pushes your body to its limit to reach its top speed, making it unsustainable and resulting in you burning out pretty fast.
If you’re training for a 100-meter sprint, you will need to practice sprinting specifically. If you're reasonably fit, a good starting point is to begin with 10 sets of 100m sprints, with five to seven minutes of rest in between; you can walk around while waiting to recover for the next set. Both are very useful for athletes and serve an essential function in improving your general physical preparedness (GPP).
All movements have a place in your training program and should be utilized for specific goals, including improving your max speed, stamina, or just burning calories at a comfortable pace.
All in all, walking is the slowest and lightest form of cardio. Jogging is a little more taxing, while running requires you to really start exerting yourself. Sprinting is typically the most difficult and requires the most energy.