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30 minute run or 10,000 steps: Research shows which is better for weight loss

30 minute run or 10,000 steps: Research shows which is better for weight loss Photo: What is better for losing weight

Walking at least 10,000 steps a day has long been considered the gold standard for physical exercise. However, research shows that focusing on the time spent exercising, rather than the number of steps, can be just as effective for weight loss, longevity, and reducing the risk of heart disease, Daily Mail reports.

What the research entails

Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston studied four years of data from nearly 15,000 women over the age of 62.

Each participant wore a fitness tracker to measure activity levels and received annual health questionnaires.

The team found that those who took between 8,000 to 8,500 steps a day reduced their risk of heart disease by 40% compared to those who took around 3,000 steps daily.

Furthermore, they found a similar risk reduction for those who exercised for 75 minutes a day, suggesting that measuring steps may be unnecessary.

This study is among several recent reports debunking the 10,000-step rule, as some experts argue that there is no magic number for exercise.

Dr. Rikuta Hamaya, the lead author of the study and a research fellow in the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, said that for some people, especially younger individuals, physical activities may include sports such as tennis, soccer, walking, or jogging, all of which can be easily tracked by steps.

Movement is key

However, for others, it might consist of activities like cycling or swimming, where monitoring exercise duration is easier. This is why it's important for physical activity guidelines to offer multiple ways to achieve goals.

According to the researchers, any movement is beneficial for health.

The team recruited 14,399 women over the age of 62 who were considered healthy, meaning they had no heart disease or cancer.

The average age of the participants was 72 years. From 2011 to 2015, each woman was asked to wear a fitness tracker on her hip continuously, including during sleep and showers.

Each year, the researchers conducted surveys on health habits such as smoking and alcohol consumption, height, weight, menopause status, and personal and family medical history.

All the information was used to assess the risk of heart disease and death among participants. The team monitored the women until the end of 2022.

On average, participants engaged in moderate to vigorous exercise for 62 minutes per week and took 5,183 steps per day. By 2022, 9% of the participants had died, and 4% had developed heart disease.

The team found that those who spent the most time (approximately 200 minutes) engaging in sports or took the highest number of steps (approximately 8,000-8,500) reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease and death by 40% compared to those with the lowest level of physical activity.

Also, this popular exercise may help you live longer and alleviate knee pain.

Previously, we discussed dietary strategies to slow down aging.

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