People start training for numerous different reasons: to maintain the body mass, lose fat or simply boost their energy. Training can also help you in mood improvement, prevent illnesses and improve the hearth health. The most common workouts that people use include running and walking. Here, we’re going to present you the results of some studies, so you can decide what’s best for you.


Cardiologist James O’Keefe from Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, MO made several researches which proved that walking is better for your overall health than running.

He published a research in the “Journal of the American College of Cardiology” where he and his associates indicate that running almost every day of the week at a pace faster than seven miles per hour carries the same risk of death as in inactive individuals.

The “EuroPrevent2012” meeting in Dublin, Ireland presented a similar study where researchers revealed that compared to sedentary individuals people who run more than 25 miles per week have no mortality benefit.

According to the two studies together, moving at a slower pace like for example, active walking or a slow jog for 1 to 2.5 hours per week lowers the risk of death by 25 %.

O’Keefe spent two to three hours a day running and also worked energetically without a day off, but because of his studies, he became a different person. He decided to stop running and started practicing yoga. He also did gentle backstrokes in a swimming pool.

According to him, people are not meant to keep up with high intensity exercises for a long period. “After 60 minutes of intense physical activity, like running, the chambers of your hearth begin to stretch and overwhelm the muscle’s ability to adapt.”

Other things that happen include increasing in the level of free radicals, rising of the adrenaline and occurring of inflammation inside your coronary arteries. If you have trained intensively for many years, you can permanently change your heart and in that way create a base for serious cardiovascular problems. The blood flow which increases in the heart leads to micro-tears which are actually tiny tears in the muscle fibers, which the body repairs and starts to adapt the muscles to handle the stimulus that caused damage better. The muscles grow during this process. It is scientifically called hypertrophy.

If you train intensively from time to time, it won’t be a problem, but if you do workouts regularly for years, your heart won’t work normally. It could then lead to the formation of stroke, blood clots, heart failure etc. and also stimulate aging.

Intense running affects the immune system

According to scientists at the University of Illinois, Urbana – Champaign intense running can increase the risk of illness. Extended intense workouts escalate the levels of some inflammatory proteins that can allow the development of some viruses. If you decide to train forcefully on a regular basis, you will only get sick again and again which will make your body not be able to recover quickly.

Intense running = fat loss?

The expectation is that intense running will burn body fat and help with weight loss. But if we take a close look at the medical literature we will find out that the workout takes a small percentage of weight loss as a whole. A change in the diet is the thing that helps in cutting body fat the most.

A research presented in the journal “Obesity” discovered that women who were doing aerobic exercises 5 days a week for 45 minutes managed to lose only 2% of their body fat over time, but women who combined exercises with diet changes lost 11 % body fat. The research too place for 1 year.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a similar study in which they showed that women who worked out intensely had increased appetites. They ate enough calories to replace the ones they lost entirely.

Working out is healthy, but make sure not to lose fat by running hard!

Walking – good for your physical and mental health

According to Todd Astorino, a PhD, professor of kinesiology at California State University, San Marcos, short term training is not harmful for our health. There can be a problem if you work long term and you have insufficient time for recovery. You will only over train and be susceptible to injuries and illnesses.

A recent study, presented in “Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology” discovered that walking on regular basis is much healthier than running because there is a minor risk of high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease among regular walkers than in regular runners.

O’Keefe and Astorino have both recommended 30 minutes of active walking most days of the week, along with a couple of days of strength training.

If you try to motivate yourself to run instead of walking, make sure you know that walking has all the same advantages as running but you don’t have a risk of injury.
“As important as exercise is, it is important to get the right dose. More isn’t necessarily better,” claims O’Keefe.




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