Can fast walking be of any health benefits? Keep reading this article to find out more on its potential health benefits.
A recent study found that daily brief fast walks are more effective in reducing the risk of heart disease than daily lengthier, leisurely strolls.
A bigger proportion of health risk reduction is seen in people who walk faster for seven minutes per day than they do for 14 minutes per day on slower walks. This is because exercise does not stave off cardiovascular conditions if it is not of a moderate intensity, experts said.
Data from 88,000 individuals who wore an activity tracker on their dominant wrist for one week were analyzed for the study.
Data was collected on the amount of physical activity participants engaged in, as well as how much of it was moderate or vigorous.
The number of cardiovascular events, such as coronary artery disease, was then recorded among the participants, who were monitored for an average of 6.8 years.
The results of the analysis indicated that participants’ heart health did not improve much when they increased their overall exercise but not their level of moderate to vigorous exercise.
Their heart health remained same even after doubling their exercise levels while maintaining the same degree of vigorous activity.
However, the risk of heart disease decreased by 23% when vigorous activity levels increased by 20%.
Additionally, the likelihood of heart problems decreased by 40% as the amount of vigorous activity rose by that same percentage.
The results, which were published in the European Heart Journal, suggest that tasks that were previously regarded as exercise, such cleaning a car or doing laundry, may not be helpful in avoiding cardiovascular illnesses.
Even in people who do not routinely exercise, heart disease rates were shown to be 14% lower when moderate-to-vigorous physical activity accounted for 20% of all physical activity.
This difference equates to doing a seven-minute fast walking rather than a 14-minute stroll.
The study’s senior author, Professor Tom Yates of Leicester University, said: “Our analysis 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.
“Our findings support simple behaviour-change messages that ‘every move counts‘ to encourage people to increase their overall physical activity, and if possible to do so by incorporating more moderately intense activities.”
“This could be as simple as converting a leisurely stroll into a brisk walk, but a variety of approaches should encourage and help individuals to find whatever is most practical or enjoyable for them.”
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