There are many reasons why people start exercising. They want to maintain their body mass, lose fat, or increase their energy levels. Whatever the reason, exercising can help improve mood, keep the hearth healthy, and prevent disease. So what type of workout should you choose? The most common workouts for the average Joe are running and walking. We will review several studies to help you decide which workout is better for you.
WALK VS RUN?
If you exercise for your overall health and want to live longer than between walking and running, walking is for you. A recent study by cardiologist James O’Keefe of Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, showed that Walking is better than running for your overall health.
Another study by O’Keefe and his coworkers, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, shows that running at more than 11 miles per hour almost every day of the week carries the same risk of death as the inactive people.
A similar study, presented at the EuroPrevent2012 meeting in Dublin, Ireland, found that people who walk more than 40 km per week have no mortality benefits compared to those who do sedentary work.
The two studies together concluded that slower exercise such as active walking or slow jogging for 1 to 2.5 hours per week reduced the risk of death by 25%.
O’Keefe used to spend two to three hours a day running and working vigorously with no day off, but his studies made him a different person. He gave up running and started practicing yoga or doing gentle backstrokes in a swimming pool.
He explains that people are not meant to keep up with high-intensity exercise for long periods of time. “After 60 minutes of intense physical activity such as running, the chambers of your hearth begin to stretch and overwhelm the muscles’ ability to adapt.”
The content of free radicals rises, the adrenaline rises and inflammation in the coronary arteries occurs. Intensive workouts over the years can change your heart permanently and form the basis for serious cardiovascular problems. The increased blood flow in the heart leads to microcracks, which are tiny tears in the muscle fibers that the body then repairs and the muscles adjust to better handle the stimulus that caused the damage. This is a process by which muscles grow and is scientifically known as hypertrophy.
It is not a problem if you exercise intensely from time to time. But if you exercise regularly for years, your heart will not function normally and it can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart complications and even promote aging.
Intense running affects the immune system
Scientists from the University of Illinois, Urbana – Champaign have found that vigorous running can increase the risk of disease, and that prolonged vigorous exercise increases levels of some inflammatory proteins that can enable some viruses to develop. This means that if you exercise vigorously on a regular basis, you will keep getting sick and your body will not be able to recover quickly.
Is Vigorous Running Good For Fat Loss?
It is expected that vigorous running will burn body fat and aid in weight loss. However, if we take a closer look at the medical literature, we will find that overall exercise requires a small percentage of weight loss. A change in diet will help Lose body fat the most.
According to a study in Obesity magazine, women who did aerobic exercise for 45 minutes 5 days a week only lost about 2% of their body fat over time. On the other hand, women who combined exercise and dietary changes lost 11% body fat. This was a yearlong research.
A similar study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who exercised intensely had an increased appetite, so they ate enough calories to completely replace the calories lost.
But don’t get this wrong. Exercising is undeniably healthy, but if you have a tendency to lose fat by running hard this is not the way to go as there is no information to support it.
Walking – good for your physical and mental health
Todd Astorino, a PhD professor of kinesiology at California State University in San Marcos, says short-term exercise is not harmful to our health. A problem arises when you work long-term and don’t have enough time to rest. You become prone to overtraining, injuries, and illness.
According to a recent study featured in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, regular walking is healthier than running. The risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease is low for regular walkers compared to normal runners.
Both O’Keefe and Astorino recommend 30 minutes of active walking, combined with a few days, most days of the week Strength training.
We can conclude that if you are trying to motivate yourself to run instead of walking to improve your health, consider that walking has the same benefits as running, but without the risk of injury.
O’Keefe explains, “As important as exercise is, it’s important to get the right dose. More is not necessarily better “