Women Who Exercise by Walking Lower Their Risk for Stroke
Good news, researchers are now saying that women who walk at a moderate or brisk pace for two hours twice a week can lower their risk of having a stroke by as much 37 percent. The study was published in Stroke: the Journal of the American Heart Association, just in time for National Walking Day on April 7.
Researchers followed 39,315, women who participated in the huge US Women's Health Study. New and important information on many levels and medical conditions are coming out of this study.
The participants reported every two to three years, their leisure and fitness activity for the previous year.
The data revealed that during the almost 12 years of follow-up, 579 women had a stroke (473 were ischemic (clot-related), 102 were hemorrhagic (bleeding) and four were of unknown type). The findings were most significant among the reduction in hemorrhagic strokes.
To date previous studies had not determined how much walking exercise was needed to prevent the risk for stroke, nor did it determine which kind of stroke may be preventable.
For this new study the data was analyzed among the women who did the walking. The results showed that the women who were the most active were less likely to have a stroke. Their risk was reduced by 17 percent. The average age of these women was 54. The study also found that the women who walked 3 miles an hour had a 37 percent change of lowering their risk of stroke of any kind, and walking at any pace provided a 30 percent reduction for the risk of stroke.
What was strange is the link with moderate activity and reduction in the risk for stroke was apparent, yet it was not clear when it came to brisk walking. The researchers are not sure why. It might be that too few people reported vigorous activity, or that moderate activity may actually be more beneficial.
Unfortunately the previous research done on men is inconsistent and it cannot be determined at this time just how much exercise men will need to lower their risk for stroke, or how helpful walking will be to prevent a possibly of stroke.
Of course we know that walking does have other health benefits as well such as; improving cardiovascular functions, lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight. Just as little as 30 minutes can bring results.
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