English: Walking for Health in Epsom, England....

English: Walking for Health in Epsom, England. A group of walkers are following the walk leader, who is wearing a yellow jacket. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OK, you want to start an exercise program so you will look great at the beach this summer. A study suggests you don’t have to go to the mall and invest in the latest exercise gear. Nope. How about a good, brisk walk?

According to an article written by HealthDay reporter Steven Reinberg, a study shows that brisk walking is as good as running if you want to reduce three risk factors for heart disease: diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.

In Reinberg’s article, you’ll learn that running reduced the risk of high blood pressure 4.2 percent and walking reduced the risk 7.2 percent. Also, running reduced the risk for high cholesterol 4.3 percent and walking lowered the risk 7 percent.

Do you have to join a health club to begin a brisk walking program? Absolutely not. How about a brisk walk during your lunch hour at work? A brisk walk can fit into just about anyone’s schedule. Check with your doctor before starting a vigorous exercise program.