There’s no need to pound the pavement hard, walking reaps the same benefits as running for heart health.
Think that the harder and faster your stride, the more you’re doing for your health? Not always.
According to a new study, walking is as good as running for lowering heart risk factors.
Researchers analysed the exercise habits of 33,060 runners and 15,045 walkers over six years and found that running lowered the risk of developing hypertension (i.e., blood pressure) by 4.2 per cent, high cholesterol by 4.3 per cent and diabetes by 12.1 per cent.
But walking was also found to have similar results, lowering the risk of blood pressure by 7.2 per cent, high cholesterol by 7 per cent and diabetes by 12.3 per cent.
Study researcher Paul T. Williams, said that walkers and runners who expended the same amount of energy “have pretty much equal benefits of major heart disease risk factors.”
In other words, someone who walked at a moderate pace enjoyed the same reductions in risk as someone who ran a vigorous pace, provided they covered the same distance.
Walking isn’t just good for heart health, it also has many other health benefits:
It makes you stronger: Walking develops the capacity of your cardiovascular system. It builds muscle in legs and as well as your core and, when you walk in faster speeds, the arms and shoulders.
It boosts your health: Just 30 minutes of walking a day provides a host of health benefits, instantly reducing your risk of diabetes, cancer and more. Statistics show that even the smallest amount of walking prolongs life.
It burns fat: Walking burns kilojoules at a steady, reliable rate. Walk enough and you’ll see results on your scales.
Walk faster and you’ll see results even quicker. Walking is low impact, doesn’t require any special gear, and can be done anywhere, anytime.