Brisk walking is as effective as running in protecting the body from heart disease.
This encouraging news is the result of a new study published in the American Heart Association (AHA) journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology which found that walkers lowered their risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes as much as runners.
The Health Benefits of Walking vs Running
Researchers compared data between 33,060 runners and 15,045 walkers over six years. All the participants were between the ages of 18 to 80, with most in their 40s and 50s.
The results of the study showed that:
- Running significantly reduced the risk for being diagnosed with hypertension by 4.2% while walking reduced the risk by 7.2%
- Running reduced the chances of having high cholesterol by 4.3% and walking by 7%
- Running lowered risk of diabetes by 12.1% while walking dropped the risk by 12.3%
- Running reduced coronary heart disease risk by 4.5% compared to 9.3% for walking.
Walking is Better than Running
Looking at the results, it appears that in most cases walking was more effective in reducing the risk factors associated with heart disease.
It’s easy to think that in order to make any significant difference to your health you need to be speeding along at full exertion.
But the research proved that for the same amount of energy used, walkers experienced greater health benefits than runners.
Although walking isn’t as intense as running, both involve the same muscle groups, which may be why they have similar effects on heart health.
And the study suggests that what is important is how consistently people walk or run. So, a brisk walk every day or a long-distance walking holiday may be the way to go.
Remember, the more you walk or run the better off you’ll be.
You can read more about this story at Time.com: Walk, or Run, to Lower Heart Disease Risk: Benefits Are Similar