Consumer Reports: Which is Better for Heart Health, Walking or Running?


We talked about athletes suffering from heart disease even if they were fit and had regular exercise. You might think that this is proof exercise cannot keep heart disease away, but you’re wrong. Regular moderate exercise keeps the human body healthy, but there are other risk factors to be considered – like family history, genes, and other health conditions. The UBC study concluded that moderate exercise is always recommended, and athletes are not immune to heart disease.

With that in mind, a subject heavily debated is which is better: Running or Walking?

Consumer Reports Experts Say Both Are Good Exercise

Whatever kind of exercise is better than being a couch potato, that is for sure. Both runners and walkers have health benefits for being active. But now that we settled both activities are good, which one is the best? Here are some recommendations from the Consumer Reports Health Editor, Lauren Friedman.

“Running and walking are both excellent for heart health. When you run your heart does work harder than when you walk. But that doesn’t actually mean that runners have better heart health than walkers.”

A significant difference between walking and running is that the latter helps burn calories faster.

As for health benefits, it all depends, explains Friedman:

“It’s best to ease into running, and then gradually increase the speed and the distance and the frequency of your runs.”

Mary Huvane prefers walking, pointing out that her husband is an avid runner and usually gets more injuries than her.

A large study found that indeed walkers are slightly advantaged over runners when it comes to injuries, which cannot be avoided most of the time. Experts concluded that runners do too much and too soon, thus injuring themselves.

Compared to inactive people, runners and walkers that burn the same amount of calories have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Walkers would have to walk the same distance as the runners to burn the same number of calories.

Bone health is also important, and both types of exercises are good. A session of running or walking for over 30 minutes a day could help reduce mild bone loss.

Bottom line: keep moving, whether you run or walk.


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