Written by Terry Nguyen
Regardless of your age, you want to look and feel your best. Running might be the solution you’re looking for: A 2014 study released by the University of Colorado reveals that running keeps you younger, in terms of energy efficiency and maintaining energy levels. Most runners know the expression, “You don’t stop running because you get old. You get old because you stop running.” Turns out, that’s true.
Let’s face it, though, even if a study maintains that running might turn back or slow down your inner clock, giving you a few more miles in the marathon of life, that might not be enough motivation to get you to put on your shorts and fly out of the house on a chilly morning. There are those days when you don’t have much time, or when you’re just feeling a little lazy.
You can still get the some of the benefits running brings by brisk walking. When analyzed, adults who ran had faster metabolism and were better walkers than adults who were sedentary. When you are trying to rev up the mind-power needed to get into the habit of running, consider a treadmill.
A treadmill is easy-to-use, flexible, and accommodates your own pace, allowing you to be a runner or a walker depending on your mood. Feeling a little out of breath? Crank down the pace. Don’t have a lot of time to take a jog around the neighborhood? Set a timer on your treadmill.
Even if you are not a runner, a 2013 study shows that the effects of moderate-intensity exercise (walking) compared with vigorous-intensity exercise (running) produced similar results. For example, both create risk reductions for hypertension, cholesterol, and diabetes.
Many treadmills, however, end up as junk in the garage after a few months of purchase. But do not despair! The good news about running is that you can start at any age and still benefit from it, according to Dr. Justus Ortega, an associate professor of kinesiology at Humboldt University who led the 2014 study on the effects of running on older individuals.
According to a New York Times‘ discussion with Dr. Ortega, it is never too late to start picking up the pace to gain the greatest benefit from your workout. Furthermore, the idea that running keeps you younger is not an exaggeration: Older runners in the research discovered that they did not lose the spring in their step or gain difficulty walking as much as their peers who are sedentary or low-intensity walkers.
Keeping up running, even as you age, requires determination, hard work, and patience. The treadmill is a versatile tool that can accommodate any aspiring runner or walker in their fitness journey.
Contrary to popular belief, treadmill workouts do not have to fall at either end of the spectrum as either a walking or running. In a gym setting, it’s easy to think that you can only walk or run on a treadmill, which is not the case. You can get creative and mix it up.
There are high-intensity interval training workouts on the treadmill (if you are not a marathoner) and there are multiple types of cardio variations you can try out. For example, interval training can combine both running and walking in the same cycle, allowing you to get the best of both worlds while breaking a solid sweat. You can also start off with walking and slowly increase your pace throughout your workout until you are running full-force. Regardless of the type of exercise you choose, or if you’re more of a walker than a runner, a treadmill allows for flexibility in your workouts.
So, what are you waiting for? You’re not getting any younger, and running isn’t getting any easier.
About the Author. Terry Nguyen writes health articles for UnSit, maker of the WALK-1 treadmill desk, among other health and wellness clients. She is a fitness enthusiast, enjoys morning yoga, and is a lover of acai bowls.