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If breaking into a run is about as appealing to you as breaking into a rash, here's a bit of good news for you. Six months of moderate exercise, to the tune of walking about twelve miles a week, lowers your VLDL (bad) triglycerides much more than a daunting twelve to twenty weekly miles of jogging on a treadmill.
And the effects last even if you take two weeks off.
To produce these findings, researchers out of Duke University divided 240 overweight, middle-aged adults into four groups, one on the long treadmill regimen, one on the short twelve-mile program, one on the walking regimen, and one that did nothing at all. After six months, the group that did nothing saw significant increases in bad cholesterol. On the other hand, the group that endured thirty minutes a day of vigorous running experienced increased levels of HDL (healthy) cholesterol.
We all know the moral of this story because we've heard it so many times before. Nevertheless, it bears repeating: Get out there and at least walk about thirty minutes a day.
Source: Medline Plus
Journal of Applied Physiology, August 2007