Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America among both men and women. The most common type is coronary artery disease, which can cause heart attacks, angina, heart failure and arrhythmias, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The best way to prevent heart disease and maintain a healthy heart is by making healthy choices. Healthy choices include a healthy diet as well as exercising regularly, but what workout is best for your heart?

In a study published in the BMJ Open, researchers discovered that working out harder, rather than longer could be the defining factor in warding off metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk for coronary art disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

The study involved more than 10,000 men and women between the ages 21-98. Participants attended an initial examination in 1991-1994 and were re-examined after 10 years.

Researchers found that both men and women who participated in higher walking speed and jogging were able to reduce their risk of developing metabolic syndrome. High intensity physical activity reduced their risk of developing metabolic syndrome by as much as 50 percent, compared to light exercise such as walking for one hour a day.

Conversely, in an alternative study published in the journal Circulation, researchers found that light exercise can reduce inflammation in the body, which is linked to contributing factors for developing heart disease.

When deciding what workout is best for your heart, you should discuss your exercise program with your healthcare provider. Whether a high-intensity workout routine or light exercise, knowing what's best for your body is the best way to make an informed decision.

In addition to maintain a healthy heart, be sure to check your cholesterol levels, monitor your blood pressure, limit alcohol consumption and either quit or don't start smoking.

For more information on how to lower your risk for heart disease visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.