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News Room: Which is better, running or walking?

Unfortunately, there’s no straight answer; it depends on the person and their goals. Running and walking are both aerobic exercise: so they will help improve blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar. They’re both good for your heart and your bones, and pretty much your entire body. They both also can regulate hormones and sleeping habits, and improve your overall mood.

Running and walking help keep your bones strong and prevent osteoporosis. Running puts about three times the force on your knee joints that walking does, so people with existing knee problems may want to take this into consideration.

Just brisk walking is great for your brain. A 5-study from the Franklin Institute in Quebec showed dramatic ties between preventing, or at least prolonging the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease with regular, low-intensity walking.

Low-Intensity doesn’t mean No-Intensity though. We as humans like our routines, whether it’s the same walk around the neighborhood, or same 8 mile run. If you were doing the same thing this time last year, consider finding a way to increase the intensity. Both runners and walkers alike need to get the most out of their workouts and their bodies.

Our hearts have to work harder during aerobic exercise, and this makes them stronger at rest. So if you’re able to increase your intensity, whether it’s increasing your walking speed, or bumping up to a jog or run, it’s important to keep stimulating ourselves.

Regular aerobic exercise promotes healthy digestion, and getting up to walk within 30 minutes of having a meal is a great way to boost your metabolism. A recent study in Medicine & Science in Sport and Exercise showed that runners tended to have less of an appetite than walkers, along with different hormonal reactions from exercise.

Many benefits from aerobic exercise are seen with at least 30 minutes of exercise a day but for a weight-loss related goal; it comes down to the numbers, how many calories are you burning? If it’s 20 minutes of running vs. 20 minutes of walking, running is going to get you to your goal faster, but consider this, if you can run for only 5-6 minutes, but you can walk quickly for 30, then it’s more beneficial for you to do the walking. However, challenge yourself to change your workout into a 5 minute run, followed by a 25 minute walk.

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