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Walking decreases risk of stroke in women by 30 percent


Photo by: mysza831

Today's women lead very busy lives filled with a mix of work, family, and never ending responsibilities.  Exercising and eating right can sometimes be a challenge.  However, it is necessary to remember the importance of making our health a high priority on a daily basis. 

Now, a recent study provides more motivation for women to remain active.  Women who walk briskly on a regular basis were found to reduce their risk of stroke by 37%.  Women who walked at any pace and averaged at least 2 hours of walking a week, lowered their risks by 30%.  The Associated Press reports via MSNBC.com that the study was published in the American Heart Association journal of Stroke

The study was conducted with over 39,000 female health workers 45 years of age and older.  The subjects were asked about their activity levels regularly over a 12 year period.  During that time, 579 women had strokes.  However, the more frequent, brisk walking over the course of the study, the less researchers saw risk factors like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, or type 2 diabetes. 

The study comes at a time when women are confused about the amount of exercise needed to maintain good health.   Last week, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study which found that women need at least an hour of exercise daily to fight weight gain in later years.  The brisk walking study proves that any moderate activity is health beneficial if done on a regular basis.  Also, two hours a week is much easier for women to maintain than an hour a day.

Brisk walking describes walking at a quick pace of 3 miles per hour or faster.  You should be to speak at this pace, but not able to hold a long conversation.  In comparison, a casual stroll is clocked at 2 miles per hour.  Generally, the more exercise you engage in on a consistent basis, the less likely you would develop risk factors for stroke.  According to WebMD, stroke is the third leading cause of death in older adults and the number one cause of adult disability.

As the weather warms in the Metro Detroit area, you will find plenty of opportunities for brisk walking.  On May 5th, 2010 you can check out the Metro Detroit Start! Heart Walk and 5K Fun Run.  This event is free!  The race will be held in Southfield from 8 a.m. - Noon.  If it is scenery you are looking for, check out Detroit Trails at Trails.com for a listing of all the best local outdoor trails.  You may also want to click here for walking hot spots for the whole family.  Finally, don't let the rain keep you from getting that walk!  Hap health insurance provides a Metro Detroit Mall Walking Guide for indoor walking.

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