To Your Health
May, 2008 (Vol. 02, Issue 05)
Take a Walk, Lower Your Risk of Stroke
By Editorial Staff
Using data from a recent study of 61,000 adults at the Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas, researchers found that merely being moderately fit - defined as walking briskly half an hour a day for five days - can lower your risk of suffering a stroke.
Participants took a treadmill test and answered health surveys. Based on these results, study subjects were divided into four fitness groups and tracked for 18 years to see how many of them suffered strokes over that time period. The overall results showed 692 strokes in men and 171 in women (only a quarter of the study participants were women).
Results showed that men in the fittest group had a 40 percent lower risk of stroke than the least fit men. The fittest women had a 43 percent reduction in their risk of stroke as compared to women in the least fit group. For moderate fitness levels, the risk reduction ranged from 15 percent to 30 percent for men and 23 percent to 57 percent in women. Even when taking into account other risk factors such as smoking, weight, high blood pressure, diabetes and family history, these reduced risks proved consistent.
So, if you don't have a treadmill, head outside to walk with the dog, your kids or your spouse. Enjoy some quality time with your family and get your exercise in all at the same time. A brisk, 30-minute walk could prove to be one of the best health decisions you ever make.