Is it better to walk or run?
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If, for instance, you are looking to control your weight — and shallowly or not, I am — running wins, going away. In a study published last month in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, and unambiguously titled "Greater Weight Loss From Running than Walking," researchers combed survey data from 15,237 walkers and 32,215 runners enrolled in the National Runners and Walkers Health Study — a large survey being conducted at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California.
Participants were asked about their weight, waist circumference, diets and typical weekly walking or running mileage both when they joined the study, and then again up to six years later.
The runners almost uniformly were thinner than the walkers when each joined the study. And they stayed that way throughout. Over the years, the runners maintained their body mass and waistlines far better than the walkers.
The difference was particularly notable among participants over 55. Runners in this age group were not running a lot and generally were barely expending more calories per week during exercise than older walkers. But their body mass indexes and waist circumferences remained significantly lower than those of age-matched walkers.
Why running should better aid weight management than walking is not altogether clear. It might seem obvious that running, being more strenuous then walking, burns more calories per hour. And that's true.
But in the Berkeley study and others, when energy expenditure was approximately matched — when walkers head out for hours of rambling and burn the same number of calories over the course of a week as runners — the runners seem able to control their weight better over the long term.
( Courtesy : Indian Express )