Whether you run or walk, experts say any kind of physical exercise is better than none. But new health studies have better defined the benefits of running versus walking, suggesting that knowing your personal health goals is an important step in choosing which is best for you. In a study of 15,237 walkers and 32,215 runners conducted at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, “[t]he runners almost uniformly were thinner than the walkers when each joined the study. And they stayed that way throughout. Over the years, the runners maintained their body mass and waistlines far better than the walkers.”
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What’s the Big Idea?
When it comes to diminishing the risks of adult cataracts, running and walking appear to confer equal benefits on those who exercise, reducing the risk compared to those do not exercise. Walkers have shown less risk of high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol profiles, diabetes and heart disease than their sedentary peers—and runners. “Runners, for instance, reduced their risk of heart disease by about 4.5 percent if they ran an hour a day. Walkers who expended the same amount of energy per day reduced their risk of heart disease by more than 9 percent.”