Speed or distance? Both are effective goals when walking to reduce your risk for heart disease. Researchers 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 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 per 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. People 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 less than five blocks a week.