Jun 03, 2013

    Running wins when it comes to weight loss

    WALKING and running are the most popular physical activities for adults. But whether one is preferable to the other in terms of improving health has long been debated.

    Now, a variety of new studies that pitted running directly against walking are providing some answers. The conclusion? If you are looking to control your weight, running wins.

    In a study published in Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise, researchers found that, over the years, runners maintained their body mass and waistlines far better than walkers.

    The difference was particularly notable among participants over 55. Runners in this age group were not running a lot, but their body-mass indexes and waist circumferences remained significantly lower than those of age-matched walkers.

    Running, being more strenuous than walking, burns more calories. Running also has an intriguing effect on appetite.

    In a study published last year in the Journal Of Obesity, researchers found that, after an hour-long treadmill stroll, a group of walkers consumed about 50 calories more than they had burned during the session.

    Conversely, another group, which ran for an hour on the treadmill, picked at their food, taking in almost 200 calories less than they had burned while running.

    The runners also proved after exercise to have significantly higher levels of a hormone called peptide YY, which has been shown to suppress appetite. The walkers did not have increased peptide YY levels; their appetites remained hearty. So, to eat less, run first.