Running vs. Walking: They’re equally beneficial to your health?
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Both brisk walking and running similarly reduce the risks for developing hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
WHAT WE KNOW
According to the CDC, adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (e.g. brisk walking, jogging or running) per week combined with strength training two (2) days per week.¹ No matter what the activity, being physically active not only burns calories but it also helps to maintain joint, muscular and bone health as well as enhance psychological wellbeing. Physical activity paired with a balanced diet improves overall health, helps to maintain weight, and reduces your risk of certain diseases. A recent study has revealed that brisk walking offers the same health benefits of running.
HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?
Data was collected from the National Runners’ Health Study as well as the National Walkers’ Health Study, which included over 30,000 runners and 16,000 walkers. The data included runners and walkers between the ages of 18 and 80 years old with most participants being in their 40s and 50s. Over a 6-year period, researchers found that both forms of exercise similarly reduced the risk for hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes, which in turn may reduce the risk for heart disease. Researchers noted that running is a more vigorous form of exercise, therefore requiring less time to experience effective results and may be better suited for those interested in saving time. In addition, running trumped brisk walking in weight loss.²
Whether walking or running, physical activity is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Here’s how to incorporate more exercise into your routine …
- How Much? Get at least 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity or 1.25 hours of vigorous physical activity per week.
- Strengthening. Strength train at least 2 times per week.
- The Gym. Ask a buddy or a family member to join with you or try a few group classes. Most gyms offer a host of classes included with your membership such as zumba, kickboxing, pilates and yoga!
- Kids. Encourage your kids to join team sports at school or in your community. Not only does it increase their physical activity, it also helps them to socialize and make friends.
Remember, fill half your plate with fruits and veggies! It makes balancing your diet easier. Be sure to check out our healthy meal planning guide for more weekly menu ideas and other ways to maintain a balanced diet.
¹ “How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 01 Dec. 2011. Web. 05 Apr. 2013. View Article
² Williams, Paul T. and Paul D. Thompson. “Walking Versus Running for Hypertension, Cholesterol, and Diabetes Mellitus Risk Reduction.” American Heart Association, 04 Apr. 2013. Web. 05 Apr. 2013. View Article