Not a Runner? Walking is Just as Effective

...For battling heart disease. HealthDay News recently released an article, accompanied by a video, explaining that a brisk walk can help your health just as any run.

They found that it’s distance, not time or speed, which helps your heart. However, running can allow you to cover double the distance in the same amount of time, a daily walk can still be beneficial. Remember though, a brisk walk is not a leisurely stroll; it’s walking for exercise.

So maybe you’ve never been all that interested in exercise, but you want to make a healthy change? Start with a walk. Diving right into something you’re not all that prepared for (a drastic diet, a hardcore workout) will make it easier to quit later. Ease yourself into the life change so you’ll be able to stick with it.

This discovery came from a collection of data from the National Runner’s Heath Study and the National Walker’s Health Study. Over 33,000 runners and nearly 16,000 walkers, between the ages of 18 and 80 years old, were followed over a six-year period.

Paul Williams, staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, and Dr. Paul Thompson, a cardiologist at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut, found that exercise helped in the following ways:

  • High Blood Pressure
    • Running reduced by 4.2%
    • Walking reduced by 7.2%
  • High Cholesterol
    • Running reduced by 4.3%
    • Walking reduced by 7%
  • Diabetes
    • Running reduced by 12.1%
    • Walking reduced by 12.3%
  • Heart Disease
    • Running reduced by 4.5%
    • Walking reduced by 9.3%

Walking is probably more affective than running because it is also relaxing and easier on the joints and spine, while running is harsh. However, as weight loss in concerned, running is more effective.