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Walking Shown to Reduce Stroke Risk

Stroke is a major cause of disability and death, especially in older adults. A recent study suggests that taking a walk for an hour or two may lower the risk of stroke by up to one-third, while walking three hours or more per day may lower the risk by up to two-thirds.

Participants in the study included 3,500 men between the ages of 60 and 80. The researchers asked the men how often they walked per week and then placed them into five different groups: zero to three hours a week, four to seven hours a week, eight to 14 hours a week, 15 to 21 hours a week and more than 22 hours a week.

The researchers then followed the men over the next 10 years. They found that the men who walked from eight to 10 hours weekly (42%) had a one-third lower risk of developing a stroke when compared to those who walked zero to three hours weekly. Men who walked more than 22 hours weekly (9%) had a two-thirds lower risk of developing stroke.

The benefits were the same regardless of the speed of walking.

Researchers from the University College London conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on November 14, 2013, in the journal Stroke.

Previous clinical studies suggest that even moderate exercise can reduce your risk of dying prematurely, help with blood sugar control, reduce body weight, improve heart health and improve respiratory health.

Even a brisk ten-minute walk a day can help. Look for ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine; you’d be surprised how many opportunities there are to get up and get moving.

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