World Health Day: Brisk walking can cut risk of heart diseases
Washington: Brisk walking can lower your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes as much as running, a new study has revealed.
Researchers analyzed 33,060 runners in the National Runners` Health Study and 15,045 walkers in the National Walkers` Health Study.
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 possibly coronary heart disease over the study`s six years.
"Walking and running provide an ideal test of the health benefits of moderate-intensity walking and vigorous-intensity running because they involve the same muscle groups and the same activities performed at different intensities," Paul T. Williams, Ph.D., the study`s principal author and staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Life Science Division in Berkeley, California said.
Unlike previous studies, the researchers assessed walking and running expenditure by distance, not by time. Participants provided activity data by responding to questionnaires.
"The more the runners ran and the walkers walked, the better off they were in health benefits. If the amount of energy expended was the same between the two groups, then the health benefits were comparable," 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," he added.
The findings are published in the American Heart Association journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.