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Why Walking is Better Than Running

Woman walking down the street.

The I Heart Walking celebration is officially underway! Have you registered to walk with fellow Bruins yet? Along with the many awesome prizes you could win, you'd reap other benefits too. If you want to live a healthier lifestyle but hate running, we have good news.

Running and walking are inevitably two of the most effective and popular aerobic exercises out there. They provide a hefty list of health benefits such as a decrease in the probability of developing diabetes, a decrease in developing cancer and heart diseases, and a large improvement in daily energy levels.

They also increase weight loss, improve your daily mood, and help to maintain a healthy regulation of cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

But which one is better?

Here is a list of things that may help you decide.

1. Running has shown to cause damage your heart.

Troponin, a globular protein that allows for muscle contraction and cardiac muscle movement, is vital in the process of maintaining a strong cardiovascular system.

However, in a study reported by the journal Circulation, researchers have proven that running can actually lead to an unhealthy spike in levels of Troponin, causing possible cardiovascular damage.

As part of the experiment, researchers performed an echocardiographic examination of cardiac function in 60 runners who would be participating in the Boston Marathon. The examination was performed a couple minutes before the race and a couple minutes after the race. Once the results were gathered, it was found that around 60 percent of the selected runners showed elevated markers for cardiac stress.

It was also later discovered that around 40 percent of these runners had also developed signs of myocardial necrosis, a damage made to heart muscle cells that is totally irreversible.

2. Walking reduces your chances of developing a serious disease by a higher margin than running does.

In a long term study conducted by Dr. Paul Williams from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, it was discovered that in comparison to running, walking reduced the risk of first-time hypertension by 7.2% while running only reduced it by 4.2%.

Additionally, walking also reduced the risk of first-time high cholesterol by 7% while running only reduced it by 4.3%.

3. Running can cause long term damage to your muscles.

In the American Journal of Sports Medicine published in 2010, researchers sought out to prove whether long-distance running resulted in irreversible articular cartilage damage. With the help from MRI scanning, researchers concluded that tested individuals showed significant increase in biochemical changes in articular cartilage even after three months of reduced activity.

The medial compartment of the knee and the patellofemoral joint showed noticeable wear and tear, suggesting that long-distance running can increase muscle and joint degeneration.

4. More running = more sickness?

Your muscles and heart are not the only thing that a rigorous activity like running can affect. Endurance training at an accelerated rate can also negatively impact your immune system.

Researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, found that long intervals of intense activity can increase levels of certain inflammatory proteins that give way for certain viruses to manifest such as the common cold. Therefore, you might get sicker more frequently and more severely than before, if you’re constantly running at a vigorous pase.





Deskercise – 10 exercises you can do at your desk


deskexerciseWith crazy and hectic schedules, who has time to hit the gym every day? Answering a flood of emails and calls, while trying to stay on top of deadlines, keeps us glued to our chairs for countless hours each day. Here are 10 exercises you can do at your desk to help maintain a healthier lifestyle. (Bonus 3 minute stretching routine at the end!)

Lower Body

Seated Leg Raises

With your feet raised off the ground, extend one leg out straight in front of you and hold for 5 seconds while tightening leg muscles. Lower and alternate legs without letting your feet touch the ground. Repeat 15 times per leg. (For those looking to bump up the intensity, try looping a purse or briefcase strap around your ankle!)

deskercise bingo

Download a deskercise bingo card to bring a little fun to the work week!

Seated Squeeze

You can get an easy workout in while sitting at your desk typing away! Simply squeeze your derriere for 5-10 seconds, then release and repeat until tired.

Desk Squats

Who needs a chair when tone your legs while working! Push back your chair from your desk and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Begin to sit as if your chair was still there and when the top of your legs are parallel with the floor hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat movement 10 times. If you can’t go until your legs are parallel sit until you feel your legs tighten, but not strain (we are looking to feel healthier not hurt ourselves).

Inner Thigh Tightening

To complete the lower body workout, grab a book and place it between your knees. Squeeze the book between your knees for 30-45 seconds, rest and repeat 5 times. Those looking for an additional challenge, you can replace the book with a ream of paper.

Upper Body

Bicep Handshake

While sitting straight up in your chair lock your fingers so that one thumb points up, while the other points down. With your elbows bent, pull and hold for 10 seconds, release and repeat 10 times. This exercise will work your biceps and shoulders while you read that 30-page report!

Rocky Balboa Meets Jersey Shore

Release your inner animal while toning your chest, arms and core! Simply alternate fist pumping (raising arms alternately above your head) with a few punches and jabs. Pump, pump, jab, jab, pump, pump, etc. for one minute. Rest and repeat for a total of 10 minutes.

Genie in a Chair

Cross your legs underneath you in your chair, then put your hands on the armrests and push yourself upwards. As you raise your body above the chair (like a floating genie), hold for 15 seconds, rest and repeat 10 times. Remember to keep your back straight and your core tight.

Desk Dips

Using a desk or chair (without wheels), place your hands on either side of your body, while sitting facing away from the desk. Firmly grip the desk or chair and plant your feet a foot or two away from you, raise your body off your chair or desk. Bend your elbows until they are at a 90 degree angle with the desk or chair. Without using your legs, lift your body back to an upright position with your arms locked. Repeat motion 10 times.

Core or Abdomen

Silent Ab Squeeze

This exercise can be completed at any time or place during the work day! Simply tighten your abdominal muscles while taking a deep breath. As you tighten your core and breathe in, it will feel as though you are pulling your abs towards your spine. Hold and squeeze for 10 seconds, release and repeat 20 times.

Chair Crunches

Place your elbows on top of your thighs; attempt to curl your chest towards your legs as you tighten your core. Resist the movement with your arms and hold for 10 seconds. Rest and repeat 20 times.

For those who can’t make lunchtime yoga or just need to work on their flexibility here is a 3 minute stretching routine from shelterpub you can do at your desk. Click here for a printable chart.

Deskercising can help put a little excitement into your day, while increasing your overall health. No worries about being embarrassed, chances are your co-workers will be impressed!

Our elevators can talk, and they say “Take the stairs!”



The next time you're in Parking Structures 4, 7  or 8, you might notice our snazzy new elevator wraps.

Dr. Harvey Simon, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, calls climbing stairs "one of the best-kept secrets in preventive medicine...even at a slow pace, you’ll burn calories two to three times faster climbing stairs than walking briskly on the level." Climbing stairs is a great way to strengthen your heart and lungs, which can lower your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.

Science clearly shows the amazing benefits of walking up stairs (from Prevention):

Researchers in England and Northern Ireland asked 12 sedentary women to climb a 200-step staircase, progressing from once a day to six times a day. (They were allowed to take the elevator down.) Each ascent took about 2 minutes, so by the end of the study, the women were exercising only 12 minutes a day. In less than 2 months, they saw a boost in their fitness level, along with improvements in their cholesterol level that were enough to cut their risk of cardiovascular disease by 33%.

Stair climbing is twice as taxing as brisk walking and 50% harder than walking up a steep incline or lifting weights. Since walking up stairs is such a great workout, only those who are relatively healthy should add stair climbing to their daily regimen.

Climbing stairs is also free, and UCLA is full of stairways for your use! Our favorite spots include Janss Steps, Drake Stadium and the beautiful natural steps in the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden.

You'll also save time and electricity by choosing stairs over elevators. On top of that, every time you climb a flight of stairs, your body releases endorphins that will make you feel happy! So the next time you reach for that elevator button, take a moment to spot the nearest set of stairs. Start your next engagement with a brisk walk and a positive attitude.

Where are your favorite stairs on campus?