Walking and running are the most popular physical activities for adults. Whether one is preferable to the other in terms of health has long been a focus of debate. A variety of new studies are providing some answers. What's the conclusion? It depends almost completely on what you are hoping to achieve. In this article we provide all the answers to this intriguing question...
If you are looking to control your weight running wins the competition. In a recent study the runners almost uniformly were thinner than the walkers and they stayed that way throughout. Over the years, the runners maintained their body mass and waistlines far better than the walkers.
Why running should better aid weight management than walking is not clear. It might seem obvious that running burns more calories per hour. And that’s true. But the one reason rather may be the running’s effect on appetite. The walkers turn to be more hungry, consuming about 50 calories more than they had burned during their hourlong treadmill stroll. The runners, on the other hand, picked at their food, taking in almost 200 fewer calories than they had burned while running.
The runners also proved after exercise to have significantly higher blood levels of a hormone called peptide YY, which has been shown to suppress appetite. The walkers did not have increased peptide YY levels, their appetites remained hearty.
"In other words, to eat less, run first"
But on other measures of health, science shows that walking can be at least as valuable as running and, in some instances, even more. A recent study found that runners and walkers had equally diminished risks of developing age-related cataracts compared with sedentary people, an unexpected but excellent benefit of exercise.
Furthermore, new studies show that runners had far less risk of high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol profiles, diabetes and heart disease than their sedentary peers. But the walkers were doing even better. Runners, for instance, reduced their risk of heart disease by about 4.5 percent if they ran an hour a day. Walkers who expended the same amount of energy per day reduced their risk of heart disease by more than 9 percent.
On the other hand, people who begin walking are often more unhealthy than those who start running, and so their health benefits from the exercise can be commensurately greater.
“Either walking or running is healthier than not doing anything"
Not yet decided? go brisk walk
Walking, fast or slow, is wonderful exercise. But now a new study shows that to get the most health benefits from walking, many of us need to pick up the pace. Participants were divided into four numerically equal categories, based on their normal pace. Those in Category 1, the fleetest, averaged less than 13.5 minutes per mile, putting them on the cusp of jogging, while those in Category 4, the slowest, strolled at a relatively dilatory 17 minutes or more per mile. The majority of the walkers in this group in fact required at least 20 minutes to complete a mile, and many had a pace of 25 minutes or more per mile.
Results show that there is a significant health benefit to pursuing a faster pace. Pushing your body appears to cause favorable physiological changes that milder exercise doesn’t replicate. Longevity rises with small improvements in pace.
So, to answer the question, what's better running or walking? perhaps the best answer to this is .....
Go brisk walk, "virtue stands in the middle"
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