Running may be one of the easiest ways to stay fit, but it may not be for everybody. However, that's not an excuse to live a sedentary lifestyle. A study by the American Heart Association (AHA) and featured on TIME gives hope to many non-runners out there, as it reveals that brisk walking may have the same benefits for your health as sprinting does.

Researchers analyzed data from 33,060 runners from the US National Runner’s Health Study and 15,045 walkers from the US National Walkers Health Study for approximately six years. The participants, who were between 18 and 80 years old, were asked to fill out questionnaires regarding their regular physical activities and any possible cardiovascular issues. They were also measured for the amount of energy they spent up while running or walking.

The results showed that although running does require higher energy levels and burns more fat, brisk walking plays a major role in decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. When done long-term, brisk walking may also reduces the risk of diabetes as much as 12.3 percent and hypertension by as much as 7.2 percent.

This opens many appealing possibilities for those who want to have a more active routine, as brisk walking can be done anywhere and anytime. Add a low-cholesterol diet to the mix, and you're on your way to living a healthier lifestyle.

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(Photo by Dawn via Flickr Creative Commons)

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