Taking a walk offers the same health benefits as a run. The determining factor is the distance covered, not how fast one goes. A runner will complete two miles in one-half the time as a walker but the runner and the walker would end up with similar reductions in the risk for hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease.
According to Dr. Paul Thompson of Hartford Hospital, “the faster you are, the faster the results but slow and steady gets you to the same point.”
Running reduced the risk for hypertension by 4.2% and walking reduced it by 7.2%. Running cut the risk for high cholesterol by 4.3% and walking reduced it by 7.0%. Running reduced the risk for diabetes by 12.1% and walking decreased it by 12.3%
Running cut coronary artery diseased by 4.5%, it was cut 9.3% by walking.
These results show that even modest amounts of exercise improve cardiovascular health. It’s not necessary to run a marathon - you don’t need to push yourself very hard to see benefits.
Lace up those sneakers and get going – your walk will put distance between you and the hospital.