Walking or running? Check out the differences

Walking or running? Check out the differences

You may be wondering about the truth or “fashion” on the theme physical exercise; if it is a trend, it will go away as fads often do. Well, if you think this, sorry to say but you are mistaken.  Plato, who lived circa year 350 aC, already made comments that a sedentary lifestyle leads to death. And that remains true today.

Many articles assess the risk of developing obesity, hypertension, diabetes and other diseases with a sedentary lifestyle. This is a proven fact. The people that have a sedentary lifestyle have a tendency to develop disease during life increased in more than 80 %, compared with active lifestyle people. Of course the timing for the disease to develop is relative, however the incidence is much lower to occur in active people.

But what is ideal for you to stay healthy and not suffer the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle is to understand the need for exercise by giving it the same importance that you do to food, sleep and leisure.

Should I walk or run?

The choice of the perfect -for you- activity is not always easy. It turns out that for most activities require some sort of practice and you need to exercise to practice. This makes the start of any new activity very difficult and discouraging. Among the activities that require less skill / practice is walking. Walking is natural to humans and we can say that all of us are born knowing how to walk. Then comes the question, is just walking enough? How much do I have to walk? Or should I run?

A study assessed the relationship between the benefits of both types of exercises, running and walking. The posed question was: what type of exercise is more beneficial to reduce the risk of death, running or walking?

The chart above was published in Article Minimal Amount of Exercise to Prolong Life (see reference at the end of the text), and it shows impressive results as we see a reduction in all the causes of death due to walk and running.

The difference

Both are able to reduce the risk of death, but at different intensities. This means that 25 minutes of walking a day reduces the risk by about 13% and the same time, only 25 minutes of running reduces the risk by about 35%.

If you do not want to run, cannot run, does not like to run, but want to reduce the risk of death by 35%, you should walk for 105 minutes. That’s the difference between running and walking, in order to reduce the risk of death by physical inactivity. Certainly, other healthy habits to have are good nutrition and good quality in sleep, and are equally important. Common sense is always a good to have.

Now that you know how much you need to run or walk to have a long and healthy life, just start.

So get dressed in comfortable athletic wear and start exercising.

Minimal Amount of Exercise to Prolong Life Chi Pang Wen MD, DrPH , Jackson Pui Man Wai PhD , Min Kuang Tsai MS and Chien Hua Chen MD, MPH JACC (Journal of the American College of Cardiology), 2014-08-05, Volume 64, Issue 5, Pages 482-484, Copyright © 2014 American College of Cardiology Foundation


Dr. Ivani Manzzo is PhD in Science from the School of Medicine UNIFESP – EPM in São Paulo, Brazil, with emphasis on obesity, pregnancy and exercise. In 2010 she began hers studies as Life Coach and has since worked helping people achieve their nutritional and heath goals. These articles are published with Dra Ivani Manzzo’s permission.