A simple walking regimen can go a long way in improving your heart health, say researchers.
“We know walking is an excellent form of exercise, but research has been mixed on how successful a walking programme can be in changing biological markers such as cholesterol, weight, blood pressure,” said Pamela Stewart Fahs, Professor at Binghamton University, State University of New York.
The researchers found that moderately intensive walking improves cardiovascular risk factors in the short term.
For the study, a group of 70 women were tested as part of their volunteer participation in a community walking programme.
Participants were given a programmable pedometer to wear for waking hours over a 10-week period and asked to walk briskly for at least 150 minutes per week.
On completion of the programme, participants’ weight, BMI, blood pressure and cholesterol were measured.
They were also asked to complete a survey about their physical activity, food choices, personal characteristics and behaviour from the 10-week period.
The results of their post-test confirmed the team’s initial hypothesis that walking would improve cardiovascular risk factors in the short term.
The study was published in the journal Creative Nursing.