Many health conditions can be addressed with running or walking, both of which are great aerobic exercises. These don’t only stimulate weight loss, but also enhance the quality of your sleep, improve your mood, increase your energy level, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels and lower the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Although walking is generally more regarded as a mode of transport than exercise, it’s actually one of the most beneficial things you can do for your body and long-term health. For one thing, walking improves cardiovascular health, strengthens and tones your muscles and reduces the risk of disease.
Walking vs. Running
With similar energy expenditure, brisk walking is more efficient in reducing the risk of heart disease than running. According to a study where researchers compared data from two 6-year studies of 33,060 runners and 15,045 walkers aged 18 to 80, walkers experienced greater health benefits than runners when the same amount of energy was burnt.
While running cuts down the risk of heart disease by 4.5%, walking reduced it by 9.3%. Plus, walking greatly affected heart disease risk factors, including:
- Risk of first-time high blood pressure was reduced by 4.2% by running and 7.2% by walking.
- First-time high cholesterol risk was lowered by 4.3% by running and 7% by walking.
- The risk of first-time diabetes was reduced by about 12% by both walking and running.