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BHF - Brisk walking can be key to a healthy heart

Scientists have shown that brisk walking can reduce your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes just as much as running.

After looking at the health records of 33,000 runners and 15,000 walkers, researchers 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 and diabetes.

The research also showed the more often people walked briskly or went running, the greater the health benefits.

Brisk physical activity - not just those long, exhausting runs - can be great news for your heart health

Doireann Maddock, BHF's Senior Cardiac Nurse, said: “These scientists have shown us that any brisk physical activity, not just those long, exhausting runs, can be great news for your heart health.

“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.

“Whether it’s walking, jogging or running, staying active will help control your weight, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol and improve your mental health. In other words, you’ll look and feel great and reduce your risk of a heart attack and stroke, too.”