Friday, April 5, 2013

Run or Walk: Which One Yields More Health Benefits?

You may wonder, “Should I do vigorous run, or a leisure walk?”
A recent study in the USA shows that walking and running contribute similar health benefits – it is the total amount of energy spent that counts. The study reveals that while running usually burns up twice as much energy as walking, both exercises yield similar reductions in the risks of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and coronary heart disease.
In other words, if the amount of energy used is the same between the two groups, then the health benefits are comparable.
That being said, even though walking and running involve the same muscle groups and the same motions, they are performed at different "intensities" – where intensity is defined in terms of metabolic equivalence. Those who chose running would end up exercising twice as much as those who chose walking, probably because they do twice as much in an hour. Hence, the difference in average energy expenditure is reflected in lower health risks for the runners, compared to the walkers -- 38% lower for hypertension, 36% lower for hypercholesterolemia, and 71% lower for diabetes.


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