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Good Question: Is Running Or Walking Healthier?

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(credit: CBS) Heather Brown
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Some studies have shown running to be a better exercise when it comes to our health.

But, other studies – even from the same data set – have seemingly shown the opposite.

So, what is better: running or walking?

According to Rebekah Mayer, the national run training manager for Lifetime Fitness, “It really depends on your goals.”

One study from the journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise that looked at a database of 47,000 runners and walkers found when it comes to weight loss, running is better.

Even when people ran and walked the same distance (and, thus, expended the same amount of energy) runners still fared better when it came to keeping weight off.

A study from the Journal of Obesity found that might be due to a hormone produced by running that suppresses appetite.

But, another study published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology found that if you’re looking for overall better health indicators, walking the same distance as running is slightly better for blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease.

“The same amount of walking and running from an overall health perspective is going to be similar,” Mayer said.

She said people shouldn’t fear running because of the belief if causes more injuries.

She said both running and walking build strong bone density because of the impact, but runners have to be more careful to have good shoes and build up slowly.

“If you come in with some injuries, walking is definitely lower-impact, so it’s probably a good starting point,” she said. “But, if you’re not naturally really injury-prone, runners don’t necessarily have bad knees because they run. It’s more of a myth than anything.”

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