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Want to lower your odds of dying of heart disease? If you don’t exercise regularly, taking an extra 4,000 steps per day may help, even if you walk at a leisurely pace, a new study finds.
A recent study included a nationally representative sample of 4,840 Americans ages 40 and older. For about a week, the participants wore on their hips a device called an accelerometer that recorded the number of steps they took each day. Researchers found that the more steps people took, the lower their risk of dying over the following 10 years, regardless of their age, sex, or race. In fact, compared with people who walked 4,000 steps per day, those who walked 8,000 steps daily were about half as likely to die for any reason — but especially from heart disease. The findings were published in the March 24–31, 2020, issue of JAMA.
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Walking for Health
The simple activity of walking has so many powerful health benefits. Done correctly, it can be the key to losing weight, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and boosting your memory, as well as reducing your risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and more. Walking for Health, created by the experts at Harvard Medical School, takes you step-by-step from why walking may be the most perfect exercise, to how to get started on a walking program, to specific walking workouts. It even has a special section on walking for weight loss.