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Short Brisk Walk Better Than Long Leisurely Stroll

When it comes to exercise, intensity is everything, and while a brisk daily 15 minute walk is enough to cut the risk of heart disease, a leisurely half hour stroll is not.

Barefoot woman walking along a beach

The new study collected data via an activity tracker on the wrist of more than 88,000 middle-aged adults, and followed up on their heart health for an average of around 7 years. The conclusion? Doing more exercise doesn’t do much to reduce your risk from cardiovascular conditions unless it is of at least moderate intensity.

When people did more exercise overall but the amount of moderate to vigorous exercise they did remained the same, there was little improvement in heart health.

When activity levels doubled there was no significant boost to heart health when the amount of moderate to vigorous activity someone did remained at 10 percent. When that vigorous proportion rose by 20 percent disease risk fell by 23 percent. When it rose by 40 percent, disease risk fell by 40 percent.

In a nutshell, this difference is equivalent to turning a daily 30 minute stroll into a brisk 15 minute walk.


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