Should you aim for fast or far? Science says both.
Speed or distance? Researchers say that both are effective goals when you’re walking to reduce your risk for heart disease.
According to study results published in the journal Circulation, scientists followed for 10 years a group of 4,207 adults with a mean age of 73 at the study’s outset. While physical activity in general reduced the incidence of heart attacks and stroke, walking both faster and farther were linked with substantial reductions in these events.
Compared with those whose speed was two miles an hour, participants who habitually walked faster than three miles per hour saw their incidences of heart attack and stroke drop by 50% and 53%, respectively. Those who walked an average of seven blocks a day or more had a 36% lower incidence of heart attack and a 54% lower incidence of stroke than did participants who walked fewer than five blocks a week.