A brisk walk may be just as good as a run for keeping the the heart healthy.
Researchers studied 33,060 runners who were participating in the National Runners’ Health Study and 15,045 walkers enrolled in the National Walkers’ Health Study over six years. All the participants were between the ages of 18 to 80, with most in their 40s and 50s. The exercises answered questionnaires about their physical activity, and the researchers calculated how much energy they expended based on the distance the volunteers reported walking or running. They also recorded any doctor-diagnosed heart conditions.
Although walking isn’t as intense as running, the study authors say both target the same muscle groups, which could explain why their results in improving heart health are so similar. The results suggest that the type of exercise may not be as important as how much people walk or run.