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Why Running Will Help You Stay Young

Let?s face it; most of us are scared of getting old. When we begin to reach our later years trying to do exercise becomes harder as we lose our strength and mobility. However, what if there was a way to slow down this process?

Well, over at NY Times, there?s a great post which argues that running can. It uses some interesting points taken from university studies that compared the potential effects of walking and running on an elderly person?s health. While there is no disputing walking is excellent exercise, the research showed a vast contrast of benefits to that of running:

Many of us probably would assume that this physical slowing is inevitable. But researchers at the University of Colorado in Boulder and Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., began to wonder whether this slow decay of older people?s physical ease really is inexorable or if it might be slowed or reversed by other types of exercise and, in particular, by running.

Putting the word out at gyms and among running and walking groups, they soon recruited 30 men and women in their mid- to late-60s or early 70s. Fifteen of these volunteers walked at least three times a week for 30 minutes or more. The other 15 ran at least three times a week, again for 30 minutes or more.

As it turned out, the runners were better, more efficient walkers than the walkers. They required less energy to move at the same pace as the volunteers who only walked regularly.

The rest of the article also reveals some other surprising results ? most notably that 70-year-old runners had the same walking efficiency as a college student. Older walkers on the other hand, had the same walking economy as people of the same age, which highlights the huge difference between the two.

So maybe the next time you head out for walk, try and quicken the pace up a bit and get your heart rate pounding. It will shave time from your walk and potentially take decades off your body?s biological age.

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About Matt Lawson Matt Lawson is a UK based sports journalist who covers all the latest football (soccer) news and matches for the Press Association. A keen Newcastle United fan, Matt is usually found either watching or playing the beautiful game.

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