Running vs. Walking
More interesting, a recent study found that even when runners and walkers expended equal amounts of energy (meaning walkers spent more time exercising and covered greater distances), runners still lost more weight. Not only did the runners begin the study slimmer than the walkers; they also had a better chance of maintaining their BMI and waist circumference.
Another recent study supports the idea that running or brisk walking might be the better bet. Researchers found speedier folks tend to be healthier than the slowpokes, even if those going slowly spend more time exercising. (Of course, it’s possible that less healthy people are more inclined to walk slowly in the first place.) That difference could possibly be explained by another recent study, which suggests that running regulates our appetite hormones better than walking. After running or walking, participants were invited to a buffet, where walkers consumed about 50 calories more than they had burned and runners ate almost 200 calories fewer than they’d burned.
Runners also had higher levels of the hormone peptide YY, which may suppress appetite. Beyond losing weight, walking may still be super beneficial to our health. Researchers looked at data from the National Runners’ Health Study and the National Walkers’ Health Study and found that people who expended the same amount of calories—regardless of whether they were walking or running—saw pretty much the same health benefits. We’re talking a reduced risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes, and better cardiovascular health. But even the most time-efficient athletes might want to think twice before sprinting away all the time. Running puts more stress on the body and increases the risk for injuries like runner’s knee, hamstring strains, and the dreaded shin splits (which plague even the most consistent runners). And of course, some people simply prefer to take things slow.