By Natalie Gott
RALEIGH, N.C. -- There's no need to run. Just going for a brisk walk -- in the park, around the block or on a treadmill -- may be enough to help keep your heart healthy, a small study suggests.
The study, which indicates roughly two to three hours of mild exercise a week at a moderate intensity can significantly cut the risk of cardiovascular disease, supports earlier research.
The findings may encourage people who are reluctant to exercise, said Brian Duscha, the lead author of the research published in the October issue of the journal Chest.
''The classic question always is: What's the minimum amount I need to do to enjoy the benefits of it,'' Duscha said. ''If you just walk 12 miles a week at a brisk pace, it's scientifically proven now that you will get some benefits.''
The conclusions are based on a study at Duke University Medical Center of 133 middle-aged overweight sedentary adults who were at risk for heart disease.