Running Better Than Walking for Older Adults A study reveals that seniors who regularly run for their exercise can slow their aging process more so than those who prefer walking. Running mitigates the age-related deterioration of ÛÏwalking economy,Û the metabolic cost to perform an motion. Metabolic cost is defined as the amount of energy consumed as the result of performing a given work task; usually expressed in calories. Walking for exercise has a minimal effect on age-related decline, says the study from researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder and Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif. ÛÏWalking performance typically deteriorates with advanced age, and impaired walking performance is a key predictor of morbidity among older adults,Û writes the studyÛªs lead author Prof. Justus Ortega of Humboldt University. A distinctive characteristic of impaired walking among older adults is a 15-20% greater metabolic cost for walking compared to young adults, Ortega added. It wasåÊfound that older runners had a 7-10% better walking economy than older walkers over the range of speeds tested and had walking economy similar to young, sedentary adults over a similar range of speeds. In contrast to older runners, researchers found that older walkers had similar walking economy as older, sedentary adults, and approximately 26% worse walking economy than young adults. Let’s boil it down. I think what they are saying is that it actually take more energy to walk than run and the long-term benefits of running include a healthier heart that can perform more efficiently.