Walk 30 minutes a day to cut health risks


New York : Walking for 30 minutes a day for six days a week can lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes even if no dietary changes are made, a new study suggests.

Support TwoCircles

Scientists at the Duke University Medical Center in the US examined the effects of varying amounts and intensity of exercise on 171 middle aged, overweight men and women.

Before exercising regularly, 41 percent of the participants met the criteria for metabolic syndrome (MetS) – a collection of risk factors that increase the chances of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, reported science portal EurekAlert.

At the end of the eight-month exercise programme, only 27 percent did.

Researcher Johanna Johnson said: “That’s a significant decline in prevalence. It’s also encouraging news for sedentary, middle aged adults who want to improve their health. It means they don’t have to go out running four or five days a week. They can get significant health benefits by simply walking around the neighbourhood after dinner every night.”

Still, some exercise regimens were better than others. Those who exercised the least, walking about 11 miles per week, gained significant benefit while those who exercised the most, jogging about 17 miles per week, gained slightly more benefit in terms of lowered MetS scores.

However, one group puzzled the researchers. Those who did a short period of very vigorous exercise didn’t improve their MetS scores as much as those who performed less intense exercise for a longer period.