Physical activity is very important for the body and for the overall health and because of that many people turn to either to running or walking. These two activities are aerobic exercises which do not stimulate weight loss, but boost the quality of your sleep, raise energy levels, improve the mood, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Walking is usually considered as a mode of transport than as an exercise, and it is one of the most beneficial things for your body and long-term health. Walking significantly supports cardiovascular health, enhances and tones the muscles and as well as lowers the risk of disease.
Walking vs. Running
Fast walking is more efficient in lowering the risk of heart disease than running. Namely, researchers in one study compared data from six year studies involving 33,060 runners and 15,045 walkers in the age range of 18-80,and it was shown that walkers experienced greater health benefits than runners even though the same amount of energy was burnt.
The results showed that running cuts down the risk of heart disease by 4.5%, walking lowered it by 9.3%. Additionally, walking significantly affected heart disease risk factors, such as:
- First-time risk of high cholesterol was reduced by 4.3% by running and 7% by walking.
- First-time risk of high blood pressure was lowered by 4.2% by running and 7.2% by walking.
- First-time risk of diabetes was decreased by about 12% by both walking and running.
Dr. Paul Williams, the study leader from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, states that both moderate brisk walking and running offer amazing health advantages as a result of the fact that they involve the same muscle groups. They differ only in the intensity of performance. Runners and walkers had to expend the same energy to obtain the same benefits, meaning that you need to walk longer than you would have to run in order to achieve the same effect.
Both of these activities are performed outside so you can socially interact as well as with other persons. Above all they do not cost a thing like the expensive memberships in the gyms and you can perform them everywhere all year around. Yet, running is more demanding than walking and you need to incorporate an appropriate running program to maximize your conditioning in minimum time.
Risks of Pushing Too Hard
According to a Danish study released in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, showed that persons who push too hard can overstrain their bodies thereby annulating all the benefits of the activity. In fact, those persons that ran at a fast pace more than four hours a week, and more than three times per week, were at the same risk of dying during the twelve year study, as those ones leading sedentary life and not exercising.
As a matter of fact it was found out that persons who ran less than three times a week for one to 2.4 hours, at a slow to moderate pace were at the lowest risk of dying during the study. Amazingly enough, the study revealed that people, who ran slightly more, like for 2.5 – 4 hours a week at an average pace, less than 3 times a week, were at a slightly higher mortality risk of 66 percent.
So, the best option would be to walk more than to run more thus obtaining the same health and fitness benefits.
Walking is Great activity for everyone
Walking would be an ideal choice for the ones who have just started exercising or for the ones experiencing health issues. In addition to this, walking is less stressful for the body which is overweight. Furthermore, when comparing the advantages and disadvantages of running and walking, we can say that the repetitive nature of running makes it a greater risk for injury. Likewise, running is considered to be high impact exercise, which can cause hip and knee injury, or harm the ankle joints.
Walking is a low impact activity thereby making it less harmful for the body. However, you need to perform squats and lunges two times a week.
The Real Age benefit of 10,000 steps a day is feeling 4.6 years younger for women and 4.1 for men. Since walking is very beneficial for your health you can invent some unorthodox ways to implement it at work like a walking meeting or a treadmill desk.
You Prefer Running to Walking
In this case, you should find a way how to reduce the risk of injury, run on surfaces like grass, earth, woodland trails, cinders and man-made tracks. If you choose to run, then you must have good quality shoes. At last, do not overdo it, start running with correct form and gradually increase your mileage.