Which is better, walking or running?
You may prefer a vigorous jog or you may prefer something more sedate like walking but no matter what you choose, any exercise is better than none. However, runners and walkers may argue about which is better for you.
“Running and walking are both excellent for heart health. When you run your heart does work harder than when you walk. But that doesn’t actually mean that runners have better heart health than walkers,” says Lauren Friedman, Consumer Reports Health Editor.
It comes down to calories. If both walkers and runners burn the same amount of calories per day, both groups have a lower risk of heart disease than inactive people. In fact one large study found walkers had a slight advantage.
"I don’t have the injuries that my husband has as an avid runner," said walker Mary Huvane.
Injuries from running are not inevitable often they are caused by doing too much, too soon.
“It’s best to ease into running, and then gradually increase the speed and the distance and the frequency of your runs,” Friedman pointed out.
Both running and walking are also good for bone health. At least 30 minutes a day doing either exercise may help mitigate mild bone loss. And contrary to what you might believe, runners don’t suffer from arthritis more than non-runners.
One study found those who ran more than 1.2 miles per day had a 15 per cent lower risk of osteoarthritis and a 35 per cent lower risk of hip replacement than those who were less active.