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Sunday, February 25, 2024

New study shows benefits of walking for heart disease

<p>UF engineering freshman Joe Liccini, 19, exercises at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Monday. According to a study, walking can lower people’s risk of high blood pressure as much as running can.</p>

UF engineering freshman Joe Liccini, 19, exercises at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Monday. According to a study, walking can lower people’s risk of high blood pressure as much as running can.

She no longer searches for close parking spaces.

After her heart attack in July, Kelly Reid, a UF College of Nursing program assistant, understands the importance of walking.

Now, she makes sure to walk at least 15 minutes daily.

“Walking is less stressful on our bodies, yet I think it’s doing the same thing as running,” she said. “Walking benefits you. It reduces your stress level.”

Reid is right.

Walking can lower people’s risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes as much as running, according to an American Heart Association journal.

Apart from previous studies, researchers assessed 15,045 walkers and 33,060 runners, aged 18 to 80 years old, by distance instead of time.

Researchers found the same energy used for moderate-intensity walking and vigorous-intensity running resulted in similar reductions in risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and possibly coronary heart disease.

Melody Schiaffino, a third-year UF health services research doctoral student, is familiar with the data released by the association. She said the information is positive, but there are no baseline characteristics, which make up an individual’s starting point.

“If you’re looking at this, you would think that walking is better than running,” she said, “and that is not necessarily the case.”

Runners are getting twice as much exercise, but running is also harder.

Either way, Schiaffino said, there has been an increase in good health for either group.

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“It’s a win-win, really,” she said.

UF engineering freshman Joe Liccini, 19, exercises at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Monday. According to a study, walking can lower people’s risk of high blood pressure as much as running can.

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