Running is a highly aerobic activity in which someone moves forward at a rapid pace. Running, like cycling, is often done purely for the value of physical fitness but it is also a competitive sport in larger events such as the Olympic games. Many health professionals encourage running due to its great effects on cardiovascular health.History
Running is, without a doubt, the oldest form of human transportation in history. Long before humans invented the wheel, it was necessary to get places fast or chase down wild game for food. As civilization evolved, running became an athletic past time and then a competitive sport. As of today, running is one the greatest forms of cardiovascular exercise and is practiced by a wide range of people across the world. Benefits of Running
Running has quite a number of benefits to the person doing the running. People who run regularly are on average much healthier than those who do not run at all or only run occasionally. Some of the health benefits of running include:
- Decreased Risk of Heart Attack or Stroke: Runners are far less likely to be a victim of a heart attack or stroke in their lifetime compared to those who do not run. Runners are at a decreased risk for these problems because of the cardiovascular benefits of running, some of which are lower blood pressure and more stable heart rate.
- Improved Sleep Cycle: Heavy physical activity like running has been shown to improve the quality of sleep for those who engage in such activity. It is not known whether running can help with insomnia or not but it is likely that it can also help with the problem of sleeplessness.
Walking, along with running, is the oldest form of transportation available to humans. Walking is very simple and practically everyone does it every day, unless of course they are paralyzed or bound to a bed. Aside from being the most basic form of transportation, it also provides a moderate amount of cardiovascular exercise with some modest health benefits to the person walking.History
For many centuries, even after the invention of the wheel, walking was the most common form of transportation over long distances. In some cases, people would walk great distances by foot in footwear that resembled a sandal more than anything else. To these early humans, walking was not a conscious choice, but rather the only option for getting anywhere. Today, many people walk far less than their ancestors due to advances in technology such as the automobile. One or two miles distances that were commonly walked hundreds of years ago are now driven in cars and trucks. This is unfortunate since walking seems to have many great benefits to overall health. Benefits of Walking
Walking comes with a number of benefits, not the least of which is cardiovascular benefits. Many of the benefits of walking are similar to those of running but with a bit less intensity. Some examples include:
Revised February 7th, 2016
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- Reduced Anxiety: It has been shown that walking can help to reduced anxiety in persons prone to it. Anecdotally, there is something very calming about going for a slow and steady walk that can't be recreated any other way.
- Digestive Benefits: Surprisingly, one of the many benefits of walking is to the digestive system. After people eat, they tend to do little more than lay around. This can lead to problems such as indigestion or even acid reflux. Instead, taking a brisk walk after eating can potentially improve the digestive process through movement. By standing up and making non-jarring movements, the digestive system is better aligned to help process food better.