Health | Walking vs. running | PICTURE | Women's Health & Fitness

GOAL: Health

Not only will walking keep you looking good in your leggings and sports crop combo, studies show that walking lowers the risk of many major diseases and conditions more than running when comparable calories are expended.

A study led by Paul T. Williams of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that a brisk walk lowered the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes slightly more than vigorous activities expending the same amount of energy. The study showed that walking for an hour is the approximate equivalent to a half-hour run in terms of health benefits.

“Walking and running provide an ideal test of the health benefits of moderate-intensity walking and vigorous-intensity running because they involve the same muscle groups and the same activities performed at different intensities,” says Williams.

In the study of 33,000 runners and 15,000 walkers, running a kilometre cut the risk of high blood pressure by 4.2 per cent. The drop was 7.2 per cent for walkers expending the same energy. Risk of high cholesterol fell by 4.3 per cent with each kilometre run and by seven per cent for each one walked. Heart disease also got the walking tick of approval, with walking shearing off 9.3 per cent of the risk compared to 4.5 per cent for running. Diabetes risk dropped 12 per cent in both groups. Case dismissed!