Is it better to run or walk to live longer? What science says – WWN

Is it better to run or walk to live longer?  What science says – WWN

Of Cristina Marrone

Both activities lead to important physical and mental benefits and improve cardiorespiratory fitness, however running is also more efficient in terms of longevity: this is why

Walking is a simple and very popular exercise because it is simple, accessible and effective. If you then walk along paths in the middle of the woodsthe benefits are amplified. A 2022 study had also measured the changes (for the better) that occur in the brain after an hour spent surrounded by nature. I notice that taking regular walks reduces the risk of many health problems including anxiety, depression and even some cancers. When the body gets used to walking normal enough that healthy people try to increase the pace when they realize they can do it. Transform even just part of your walk into running allow you to reach them same physical and mental benefitsbut in a lot less time.

Measure your fitness

Walking or running both have effects on physical fitness and improve the efficiency of the heart and lungs. But which activity helps you live longer? The gold standard for assessing fitness the test V02 max, or maximal oxygen consumption, which is the maximum amount of oxygen an individual can use during strenuous exercise. A high level of cardiorespiratory fitness it seems too predictor of lifespan
. According to a 2021 study of 2,000 middle-aged men and women, doing a little activity, even just walking slowly during the day, improves somewhat the V02 max compared to remaining completely sedentary
. However, the greatest benefits are obtained when you start walking faster, because increases heart and respiratory rate. When you move so much that you can still talk but not sing it means that we went from light physical activity to moderate physical activity.

Running efficiency

So what is the difference between running and walking? There certainly more efficient running because it’s not just about increasing speed. Running requires more energy, more power and more strength of a simple walk also because, by lifting one foot at a time, a series of jumps follow one another. For beginners, running at any pace, even slowly, is a way to make the heart and lungs work harder: it will increase the effort until reaching what is called vigorous activity (breathing so intense that only a few words can be uttered).

Running and longevity

International guidelines recommend 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, or half the time with vigorous activity, such as running. THEn key to longevity some studies have found that the most effective running.

In 2011 researchers from Taiwan they asked over 400 thousand adults how much vigorous (such as running) and moderate (such as walking) exercises they did. They found that regular five-minute runs extended people’s lives as much as walking for 15 minutes. A regular 25-minute run and a walk of about an hour and a half resulted in about a 35% lower risk of death over the next eight years.

In a 2014 study it was seen that those who run regularly (even below 9 kilometers per hour) were 30% fitter than walkers and sedentary people, with a 30% lower risk of dying in the next 15 . The benefits of running are many, they increase with training and have repercussions on longevity, he says Gianfranco Beltrami, sports doctor, vice president of the Italian Society of Sports Medicine. Jogging is an aerobic activity and the cardiovascular system benefits first and foremost. As running intensifies and is practiced regularly, a small revolution occurs in the body: they decrease blood pressure, heart rate, “bad” cholesterol (LDL), glycaemia (glucose in the blood) and increase good cholesterol (HDL). All these metabolic changes translate into a lower risk of diabetes, stroke, heart attack and thrombosis in general. It also improves lung capacityYes sleeps better e.gIt keeps osteoporosis at bay. Running is also good for the brainbecause it favors the production of endorphins and other natural opioids, enkephalins, which reduce anxiety and improve mood. If that wasn’t enough, running helps you lose weight. If you run long and often, the extra pounds will go away without too much difficulty.

Even if running seems to offer more benefits, also in terms of longevity, it is not entirely correct to fossilize. The best benefits are obtained when you go from the sofa to do an exercise, even a small one. Whether it’s walking or running, what matters is consistency. Certainly adding vigorous exercises to your training will increase the benefits.

Side effects of running

However running can have side effects and it is not an activity suitable for everyone. It can in fact have an important impact on connective tissue (bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilages) and gli injuries they are more common among runners than fast walkers. To reduce the risk of accidents, you need to give your body time to get used to running. And this also applies to those who return to racing after a long stop. In fact, running ahigh impact activities. Every time they land, runners put stress on their bodies equal to about three times their body weight. The problem is that the race has a higher incidence of trauma – adds Beltrami – and for people with osteoarticular pathologies such as osteoarthritis of the knees or with cardiovascular and respiratory pathologies it is not indicated and indeed can make the pathological picture worse. So for those who can, the race is better. Alternatively, fast walking alternates with short stretches of slow running, and for the more injured only walking. Anyone who is overweight or obese should avoid running to limit the risk of injury, in particular to the ligaments and cartilages of the meniscus .

In general running offers more health benefits than walking he also claims Luiz Carlos Hespanhol
who has published many works on running. His studies found that after a year of training, just two hours a week, runners lost weight, reduced body fat, lowered their resting heart rate and reduced blood triglycerides. Running or walking, however, depends on your possibilities and preferences. You may choose running because the health benefits are greater and come more quickly. Or alternatively you can opt for brisk walking because it involves fewer risks than running.

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January 7, 2024 (modified January 7, 2024 | 1:29 pm)

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