A recent article in the The Atlantic pointed me towards a new study comparing the health benefits of running compared to walking. This six-year study followed the exercise habits of 18 to 80 year olds and gathered health information such as weight, blood pressure, diet, and any health problems during the course of the study. One might expect to see that Runners would have a significant improvement in overall health as compared to the Walkers, but the results turned out to be a bit more interesting.
By controlling for the distance and calories expended, they were able to see pretty similar results between the two groups. Both groups had a reduction in hypertension, diabetes, high-cholesterol, and coronary artery disease. The take home message? Whatever your exercise, be it walking or Running, you can get the same benefits if you put in the same amount of total work. The only difference really is that running gets it done with quicker. You burn more calories quicker, reducing the time needed to spend working out. […]