Study: Walking, just as healthy as running

Research shows that walkers who expend the same amount of energy as runners have similar results in reducing their risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. (Thinkstock)

Nick Iannelli, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – You may not be missing out if you spot runners speed past you along a sidewalk or bike trail.

A new study published in the American Heart Association’s Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology shows walkers achieve health benefits similar to those who jog or run.

Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California analyzed tens of thousands of people from the National Runners’ and Walkers’ Health Study.

The research shows that walkers who expend the same amount of energy as runners have similar results in reducing their risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Still, D.C. joggers in Rock Creek Park are hesitant to stray from their routine.

“For me, walking just seems really slow and boring,” says Jami Wyatt, who was catching her breath in the park. “(Jogging) is kind of my mental release.”

A man jogging through the park told WTOP, “There’s kind of a certain high you get from running and accomplishing something on a run that I think is pretty hard to duplicate on a walk.”

Researchers are not willing to say walking is “better” than running. Instead, they say the study proves any type of physical activity is a healthy choice.

Physical activity guidelines from the CDC recommend adults get at least 2.5 hours of moderate activity, including brisk walking, each week.

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