How much must a woman walk every week to reduce her risk of stroke?
Stroke is the No. 1 cause of disability and strikes 800,000 Americans every year. However, walking can help prevent it.
A study recommends two or more hours, at a pace of at least 3 mph, per week.
A report in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, yields information as it pertains to women.
For the study, over 39,000 female health professionals (average age 54) were followed.
They reported, every 2-3 years over nearly 12 years, time spent walking or hiking, running, jogging, cycling, aerobic dancing or other exercising, using cardio machines, playing raquet sports, swimming, doing yoga and stretching.
- Household chores were excluded from the time reports.
- Walking pace was also reported.
- Women who walked at least two hours every week had a 30 percent reduction in all-type stroke risk, compared to able bodied women who did not regularly walk.
- Brisk walkers had even bigger reductions.
Walk to Help Prevent Stroke
As a personal trainer I have worked with many individuals who, prior to meeting me, clung onto the treadmill while they walked, believing that this anchoring duplicated unsupported walking.
If you’re a treadmill user, do not hold on. Otherwise you’ll be mimicking using a walker.
It makes no sense to walk into a gym without assistance, step onto a treadmill, and then hold onto it while walking.
Let go, even if you have to initially slow down the speed, and let your arms move naturally. They should swing more at faster speeds.
Don’t obsess about using the highest incline. Walk briskly at a zero or very slight incline, and remember, DO NOT HOLD ON other than to steady yourself while drinking water or adjusting the settings.
Four, 30-minute walking sessions a week will help prevent stroke. You can also break those down into eight, 15 minute sessions.
Remember, brisk walking has more of a stroke preventive effect than does slower walking.