Even a Little Bit Helps

February 23, 2008 at 4:21 pm 1 comment

I’ve mentioned before how important exercise is for a healthy body.  So often, we think of it only in terms of being firm and toned, but there’s so much it does internally to improve our body’s functioning, keeping us living high-quality lives now and in our later years.

This is borne out by yet another study, which reveals that being moderately fit cuts stroke risk in both men and women.

The University of South Carolina’s Prevention Research Center in Columbia has released results of research on more than 61,000 adults at the Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas. After taking a treadmill test, the participants periodically answered health surveys.  While participants were mostly white, well-educated and middle-income or higher, there was an unusually high proportion of women included; about a quarter of the participants were female.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., and up to now, most of the research on it focused on men.  But there’s good news for both genders.

“Being merely moderately fit — walking briskly half an hour a day — can lower the risk of having a stroke.”

“The study found that men in the most fit group had a 40 percent lower risk of stroke than the least fit men. The most fit women had a 43 percent reduction in their risk of stroke compared with women in the least fit group.”

“For moderate levels of fitness, the risk reduction ranged from 15 to 30 percent for men and 23 to 57 percent in women.”

We frequently create roadblocks to exercise by thinking that we don’t have enough time or money to do it any meaningful way.  This study shows that we can achieve significant health benefits just by walking at a brisk pace for about 30 minutes five days a week.  That’s not a lot of time, and walking doesn’t require any special equipment either, just a good pair of tennis shoes. 

The next time you start to talk yourself out of exercising, remember that even a little bit helps.

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Entry filed under: burn more calories, doctors, exercise equipment, science. Tags: , , , , .

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