Monday, May 17, 2010

Walk Away From Stroke!

Walking is a low-impact, high-benefit exercise that is simple, safe, and has many health benefits. Recent research, conducted at Harvard School of Public Health, shows that women who walk at a brisk pace (3 miles per hour or faster) could reduce their risk of stroke.

The lead author of the research, Jacob Sattelmair, said "Physical activity, including regular walking, is an important modifiable behaviour for stroke prevention." He also stated, "Physical activity is essential to promoting cardiovascular health and reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, and walking is one way of achieving physical activity."

The study followed roughly 40,000 women with an average age of 54 and tracked their activities such as walking, jogging, running, biking, and aerobic exericse. Walking was categorized in three groups for this study:
  • Normal, which was between 2 and 2.9 miles per an hour
  • Brisk, which was between 3 and 3.9 miles per an hour
  • Very Brisk, Which was 4 miles per hour or greater

The researchers found that women who maintained an active lifestyle were 17 percent less likely to suffer a stroke compared to those who had an inactive lifestyle. In addition, the women who walked at a brisk pace lower their risk of hemorrhagic stroke by 68 percent and any other type of stroke by 37 percent. It was also found that the women who walked two or more hours a week lowered their risk of hemorrhagic stroke by 57 percent and 30 percent for any other type of stroke! The researchers were amazed to find that vigorous activity wasn't associated with a reduced risk of having a stroke.

Only 579 of the women were recorded of having suffered a stroke during a 12 year follow-up period. The results of the researchers were detailed in Stroke: The Journal of the American Heart Association.

Having trouble trying to find time to walk? Consider taking an early morning walk, a walk during your lunch break, or a walk as soon as you get home from work or right after dinner. Take the dog along – take the kids along.

To Your Health!

John Hall NSCA-CPT

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