Walking could reduce the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes just as well as going for a run, according to a new study.
When the same amount of energy is used, walking is in fact more effective at reducing the risk of heart disease than running, researchers say.
The report, in the American Heart Association journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, reveals that running can reduce the risk of heart disease by 4.5%, while walking can reduce the risk by 9.3%, when the same amount of energy is exerted. The study suggests that as long as the amount of energy used while walking is similar to that used when running then the health boost is on a similar level.
Remember though that in order to expend the same amount of energy, you'd have to walk further: expect to burn on average twice as many calories per mile running as walking.
Doireann Maddock, of the British Heart Foundation, says ‘We know the best type of activity for your heart is moderate-intensity aerobic activity and that includes walking – as long as you feel warmer, breathe harder and your heart beats faster than usual.'
- Heart & Vascular Disorders