Exercise Intensity vs. Volume: Which Is Better for Heart Health?

By Ryan Halvorson
Dec 20, 2012

According to a study from the British Medical Journal, (2012; doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001711), a daily power walk offers more heart health benefits than a leisurely stroll, even if the stroll lasts longer.

As part of The Copenhagen City Heart Study, the researchers followed 10,135 men and women aged 21–98 for 10 years. The purpose was to find links between leisure-time physical activity and risk of developing metabolic syndrome.

“In both women and men, prevalence [of metabolic syndrome] was associated with lower leisure-time physical activity and walking speed and was lower in joggers compared to nonjoggers,” said the study authors.

Subjects who engaged in more physical activity and those who walked or jogged faster had a lower risk of developing the disease. A higher volume of walking was not associated with less risk.

“Our results confirm the role of physical activity in reducing risk [of metabolic syndrome] and suggest that intensity more than volume of physical activity is important.”

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Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor. He is a long-time author and presenter for IDEA Health & Fitness Association, fitness industry consultant and former director of group training for Bird Rock Fit. He is also a Master Trainer for TriggerPoint.

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