Brisk walks can reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke by half, new research has found.
Scientists say that it is the intensity rather than the duration of the exercise that counts, while an hour’s daily walk makes little difference.
The research, published in the online health journal BMJ Open, found that daily fast walks cut the risk factors for strokes and heart problems by 50%, while jogging reduced them by 40%.
The study looked at the health of over 10,000 Danish men and women between the ages of 21 and 98, who were monitored for 10 years.
Maureen Talbot, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “This study reminds us that it is only physical activities that leave us feeling warm or breathing more heavily that are good for our health.
“Jogging or walking briskly makes the heart beat faster – exercising the heart muscle – and we should all try to do activities each day which get the blood pumping.
“So if you want to make the walk to work or to the shops part of keeping your heart healthy then try turning it from a leisurely stroll into a power walk to get the benefits.”
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