Running may reverse aging in certain ways while walking does not, a noteworthy new study of active older people finds. The findings raise interesting questions about whether most of us need to pick up the pace of our workouts in order to gain the greatest benefit.
Walking is excellent exercise. No one disputes that idea. Older people who walk typically have a lower incidence of obesity, arthritis, heart disease and diabetes, and longer lifespans than people who are sedentary. For many years, in fact, physicians and scientists have used how far and fast someone can walk as a marker of health as people age.
But researchers and older people themselves also have noted that walking ability tends to decline with age. Older people whose primary exercise is walking often start walking more slowly and with greater difficulty as the years pass, fatiguing more easily.
…The good news for people who don’t currently run is that you may be able to start at any age and still benefit, Dr. Ortega said. “Quite a few of our volunteers hadn’t take up running until they were in their 60s,” he said.
Source: Run to Stay Young
Distance running does not come naturally to me. I was a 100 m sprinter in school. There’s some debate that sprinters are an oddity, because hunting would have suited distance runners along with some physiology clues. Some still use subsistence hunting, where you don’t catch your prey – you just run it to the point of its exhaustion. Me? I’d be making myself useful picking berries and other resources…
Running is probably the easiest, cheapest sport to get into. But not everyone knows how to run properly, which the article does not mention, and leads to injuries. For new runners, I really suggest at least taking the occasional clinic if not joining a running group. It helps motivation to have people to run with and you’re safer too. But technique critique and improvement are what will minimize injuries when you’re like me.
I still run …but only when chased 😉