Take a long walk and maybe reduce your risk of stroke

By ACSH Staff — Nov 15, 2013
It s better to walk than to not be active at all. Walking a predominant exercise among the elderly, holds more importance in the way it reduces stroke in older men in than you may think

Couple walking outdoors with walking stickYou don t have to love long walks on the beach, but you should indulge anyway, and regularly. According to a new study, long, leisurely walks be it on the beach or not, reduce the risk of stroke in older men.

The study published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, involved more than 3,400 healthy men from the UK between 60 and 80 years old. Researchers recorded distance walked each week and usual walking pace. The men were followed for ten years and monitored for all new cases of stroke.

Men who walked eight-14 hours per week regardless of pace or distance, had about one-third lower risk of stroke than men who spent zero-three hours walking each week. The risk was about two-thirds lower for those walking more than 22 hours a week.

Among the participants, roughly 42 percent walked for more than eight hours per week while 9 percent walked for more than 22 hours per week.

While taking a brisk walk was not directly associated to lower risk of stroke, study author Barbara Jefferis, Ph.D., and colleagues noted that "compared to walking at a slow pace, the men who walked faster had about a one-third reduction in stroke risk, but this was entirely explained by the fact that they walked further than men who walked slower."

Adding more hours of the physical activity during the week was also associated with lower heart rate, researchers found.