Wellness issues: research on the benefits of running (jogging) vs. walking for all, particularly older people

The New York Times published an article on 12-3-14 about the benefits of running in comparison to walking, particularly for older people. The article, “Run to Stay Young,” describe research which finds that, “running may reverse aging in certain ways while walking does not.” Also the research found that running promotes better coordination than walking and people who run are able to be more active later in life the people who walk. People are not have to be lifelong runners, and the benefits can be obtained by taking up running later in life. Also, the research was not on more hard-core runners, as the subjects in the running group ran three times a week for 30 minutes or more, but that was all. Most, “moved at a gentle jogging speed.”

The article also documents the benefits of walking. It notes that people who walk regularly typically “have a lower incidence of obesity, arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes, and longer life spans than people who are sedentary.” The article also notes people do not even need to run in order to obtain benefits from increasing her activity level. The article cites one researcher who recommends to walkers that they increase their walking speed for even a few minutes in order to feel that their heart is pounding and they are panting. The author notes,” any physically taxing activity would likely make you a more efficient physical machine.”

Psychologists and behavioral specialists who are working to help their patients with wellness in general, and to have a higher quality of life as they age, in particular, should attend to their patient’s activity level. In addition, being knowledgeable about this type of research is likely to help us promote expanding the practice of behavioral services by collaborating with primary medical providers. It is common for them to have concerns about their patients activity level, but to not necessarily have the time to discuss this in detail with their patients into work with them on behavioral changes

 

 

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