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.