Walk the Risks Away
By Editorial Staff
What risks? How about the risks of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer or another cause. New research suggests those health "complications" (we consider death the ultimate health "complication") can be significantly reduced simply by walking.
But how much walking – and how fast? Good questions. According to a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, more steps (up to approximately 10,000 per day, the recommended daily amount) is best, associated with lower risks of death from the above conditions. The same study also found that stepping cadence (intensity) correlated with lower death risks. In other words, more steps = increasingly reduced risks; greater intensity while stepping = increasingly (and independently) reduced risks as well. Overall, the risk reduction.
But that's not all. According to a separate study, walking also reduces the risk of cognitive decline, an increasingly concerning health issue that may seem worse than death, depending on the severity. Published in JAMA Neurology (another journal of the American Medical Association), this study came to similar conclusions as the first study with regard to step count and step intensity: Walking just under 10,000 steps per day reduces dementia risk, with even stronger associations when steps are performed at a higher intensity.
The risk reduction? How about cutting your dementia risk in half just by getting in the requisite number of steps; and an even greater risk reduction by walking fewer steps (around 6,000 per day), but at a high intensity.
The moral to the story based on both of these studies is clear: Walking is an easy, effective way to live healthier and longer. Now get out there and start stepping! Talk to your doctor for more information about the profound health benefits of consistent exercise.
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