Is Vigorous Exercise Better Than Walking?
posted 12/11/02 Moderate Intensity is recommended The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends moderate-intensity physical activity of at least 30 minutes on most, preferably all, days of the week. Is walking as beneficial as more vigorous exercise? The Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study provided an opportunity to compare walking with vigorous exercise for preventing heart disease in a diverse cohort of 73,743 postmenopausal women (age range, 50-79) without histories of heart disease or cancer. Participants completed detailed physical-activity questionnaires and were followed for up to 5.9 years (mean, 3.2). Weekly energy expenditure was calculated in metabolic equivalents (METs). The number of MET-hours per week was inversely associated with heart-disease risk. Walking and vigorous exercise yielded similar benefits: For example, at least 2.5 hours/week of either activity reduced risk by about 30%. Faster walking pace was associated with lower risk, prolonged daily sittin