Walking your way to better health, from the Harvard Men's Health Watch

Hundreds of studies show that regular exercise is good for health. But if you're not a runner or biker, or are only interested in—or capable of—less strenuous forms of exercise, can you still expect a health boost? You can, indeed, walk your way to better health, reports the August 2009 issue of Harvard Men's Health Watch.

A recent analysis proves that walking doesn't get the respect it deserves. Two scientists sifted through 4,295 articles published on walking between 1970 and 2007. Of these, 18 observational studies met their high standards for quality. Each of the studies collected information about the participants' walking habits and cardiovascular risk factors such as age, smoking, and alcohol use. The participants were followed for an average of 11.3 years. During this time, their cardiovascular events (angina, heart attack, heart failure, angioplasty, bypass surgery, and stroke) and deaths were recorded.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »