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To Walk or to Run….That is the Question

Recently, I decided to alter my routine to replace running with walking.  Being an avid runner, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this change.  Surprisingly, I am loving the workout, and can feel the benefits!  This made me want to research more, uncovering the benefits of walking.  Here is what I learned.

  • Running is hard on your heart.  Studies suggest that moving at a gentler pace—such as a brisk walk or a slow jog—for 1 to 2.5 hours every week lowers your risk of death by 25%.  Great Reasons to Walk Instead of Run
  • Excessive endurance training can lower your immune system, increasing your risk of getting sick.
  • Intense training over the course of many years can lead to permanent changes in your heart—changes that can set the stage for serious cardiovascular problems.
  • Consistent running can lead to consistent inflammation.
  • In a new study published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, it was found that regular walkers turned out to be healthier than their running counterparts. Risk for hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease all dropped more significantly among walkers, compared with runners.
  • You have to spend more time walking than you did running to reap the same calorie burning benefits, but you are being easier on your body by walking.

“If your goal is exercising for overall health and to improve your longevity, then walking is ideal,”says Cardiologist James O’Keefe.

The basic lesson I learned is that while any exercise program has great benefits, more isn’t necessarily better.  Moderation and recovery are essential.  Combining brisk walking with weight training can have overall better health benefits than endurance running alone.  Being able to reduce the chances of injury makes walking an attractive option as well.  Grab a friend or your earbuds and get moving!

 

 

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Linda Driggs

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