Walking is a great form of exercise, and it doesn’t take much to reap the benefits of taking regular strolls. To maximise these advantages, though, it might be time to pick up the pace: New research published in European Heart Journal found that taking a brisk walk of 7-minute every day is enough to cut your risk of heart disease.
How does a quick brisk walk every day benefit your health?
To obtain their findings, scientists from Cambridge and Leicester Universities analysed data from 88,412 middle-aged adults registered in the UK Biobank. Each participant had no previous history of cardiovascular disease and wore wrist accelerometers for seven days.
The research team collected data on the total amount of physical activity each subject performed and sorted the percentage of that total volume into categories regarding the intensity of the exercise. Participants had follow-ups for nearly seven years on average following the study to measure their number of heart events, including coronary artery disease and stroke.
The study authors found that total physical activity volume was strongly associated with a decrease in participants’ risk of developing heart disease. They also found that cardiovascular disease rates were 14% lower when moderate to vigorous activity accounted for 20% rather than 10% of overall physical activity. This is equivalent to turning a casual 14-minute stroll into a 7-minute brisk walk.
While you can reap the heart health benefits of brisk walking in short doses, the lowest cardiovascular disease rates were observed among participants who undertook high overall levels of physical activity.
“Our analysis of data from UK Biobank confirms that increasing the total amount of physical activity can lower the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke, but we also found that achieving the same overall amount of physical activity through higher intensity activity has a substantial additional benefit,” said Tom Yates, senior author and professor of physical activity at the University of Leicester, and a senior author on the paper, in a press release.
This story first appeared on www.marthastewart.com
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