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Walking protects your heart as effectively as going for a run

Published on 05/04/2013

Brisk walking is just as good for the heart as going for a run, according to new findings from American researchers.


Walking is as good for the heart as running

Walking can lower the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes as much as running can, because they involve the same muscle groups and activities performed at different intensities.

However, the energy used during the walk has to be similar to running, which means walking for a longer period of time.

For example, researchers estimate that a person would need to walk 4.3 miles at a brisk pace to have the same amount of energy as running 3 miles, taking around an hour and 15 minutes instead of 38 minutes.

To reach their conclusion, researchers analysed 33,060 runners and 15,045 walkers aged between 18 and 80 years old over a six year period.

Writing in the American Heart Association Journal, they found that the same energy used for moderate intensity walking and vigorous intensity running resulted in similar reductions in risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and coronary heart disease.

More specifically, running reduced risk of high blood pressure by 4.2%, high cholesterol by 4.3%, diabetes by 12.1% and coronary heart disease by 4.5%.

Meanwhile, walking reduced risk of high blood pressure by 7.2%, high cholesterol by 4.3%, diabetes by 12.1% and coronary heart disease by 4.5%.

Researchers say that the results are statistically equivalent when the make-up of the two different groups is taken into account.

Lead author Paul T. Williams, said: “Walking may be a more sustainable activity for some people when compared to running, however, those who choose running end up exercising twice as much as those that choose walking. This is probably because they can do twice as much in an hour.

"People are always looking for an excuse not to exercise, but now they have a straightforward choice to run or to walk and invest in their future health.”

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by meeting the recommended level of physical activity is one way you could save money on your health insurance premiums.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013


Categories:  Health
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