"How's your knee feel?"
"Well, it hurts, uhh..not right now but, you know, the thing is, I mean what I'm having a hard time with, is that I need to jog. Since I hurt my knee, I've gained weight and jogging is really the best way for me to keep the weight off or at least that's what I think or been told. You know? It's like if I do what I need to do for my knee, I get fatter, but if I do what I need to do to keep my weight under control my knee hurts and it's just driving me nuts. How am I ever going to get out of this?"
"Uhh huh. And, how was it you hurt your knee again to begin with?"
"Yeah....uhhh...well...jogging. But, I was doing really well. I just over did it is all. And now, it feels like I'll never jog again and just end up hurt, sore, and fat."
"What about walking? Does your knee hurt when you walk?"
"You know..uhh...most days, uhh...no, it doesn't. I mean it hurts when I have to go up stairs or squat or kneel down. Stuff like that. But, walking, I'd say, yeah, I can walk ok."
"Well, may be walking would be a good choice for you. Burn some calories. Help manage your weight."
"Are you serious? Walking? I won't burn any calories doing that! I mean, come on! Right? Don't you have to jog at least? How would walking help me? It's not hard enough. I won't burn enough calories."
People think working harder, faster, and more often leads to quicker results, faster weight loss and a body others drool over. When anyone thinks of weight loss, running is near or at the top of the to-do list; that somehow running magically melts fat like butter in a hot fry pan and it just evaporates from your body. Maybe a friend or colleague lost some weight, said it was from running and maybe it was 3 or 4 lbs in a week. Why can't you do that? How hard can it be? Just go out and start running. Simple.
Wait. Save yourself the frustration of both struggling with weight loss and an injury by walking instead.
Running is no more effective at burning calories than walking at the same speed. A 5 mph jog, which is the jogging speed of most people, burns fewer calories than a 5 mph walk. The reason is that walking 5 mph is very hard work. It's inefficient so your body uses lots of muscles to get the job done. Try it. Start walking at 4 mph on a treadmill, and you will begin feeling some strain; some difficulty. When the speed approaches 5 mph, you'll want to jog. Don't. Just try walking (and, you may have to hold on to the treadmill's handle bar. Can't have any George Jetson action). Just do this for 30 seconds and you'll understand. Within a few minutes, your heart rate will climb and you will start to sweat. It's hard work. If it's too hard, back the speed down until you're comfortable again then bump the speed up just a little. You want to want to feel like jogging would be easier and then walk at that speed.
When you can walk easily at a face past, then maybe, maybe consider some jogging. Until then, ignore the urge to run.
Greiwe, J. S. and W. M. Kohrt (2000). "Energy expenditure during walking and jogging." J Sports Med Phys Fitness 40(4): 297-302.