February 05, 2013

Regular walks could keep you on the path to a healthy heart

Grandad walking a dog with childrenTaking regular walks significantly reduces the risk of Metabolic Syndrome, according to researchers.

Metabolic Syndrome is a term used to describe a combination of cardiovascular risk factors, including high blood pressure and blood sugar, and excess weight around your middle.

Researchers examined the fitness of 38,000 men and women before categorising their fitness levels as either ‘low’, ‘moderate’ or ‘high’. Those in the ‘moderate’ category were less likely to suffer from Metabolic Syndrome compared to those in the ‘low’ group.

Doireann Maddock, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said: “This study shows that people who have a moderate level of fitness have less chance of developing cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.

“We all know how important it is to keep active, but many of us struggle to fit exercise into our daily routine. This research confirms that physical activity doesn’t have to mean spending hours in the gym - simple but regular exercise, such as walking, can have real health benefits.

“Building up to a brisk 30 minute walk on five days a week will help to raise your fitness levels and keep your heart healthy.”

This research was published online by the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.