A Little Walking May Go A long Way For Reducing Stroke Risk
A study recently published in the April 2010 issue of the journal Stroke found that women may be able to slash their risk of having a stroke if they walk just a couple of hours each week.
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston analyzed data from nearly 40,000 women aged 45 and older for the study. The women reported their physical activity levels at the beginning of the study (1992-1995) and periodically throughout the study.
After an average follow-up of 12 years the researchers documented 579 strokes among the participants.
They found that women who were the most active were 17% less likely to have a stroke.
These findings are not exactly new news as physical activity has long been associated with reductions in stroke risk. What is significant about this study is that the researchers found walking may be especially important.
The researchers compared women who walked at least 2 hours a week (at any pace) to those that did not. They found an impressive 30% reduction in stroke risk among women that walked.
They also found that women who walked at a pace of at least 3 miles per hour further reduced their risk of stroke by an additional 7%.
This study adds to evidence showing that low-moderate intensity exercise is beneficial for heart health and reducing the risk of stroke. There are also a number of other things you can do to improve heart health and reduce the risk of stroke such as consuming more B vitamins and magnesium and maintaining a healthy bodyweight.