Walking your way to health and happiness!
Regular Walking Aids Older Arteries|
Restores Elasticity to Arteries, Reduces Heart Disease Risk
April 22, 2002 -- Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of older women. But walking -- simply walking -- can make a big difference in reducing that risk, according to a study presented at this week's Experimental Biology 2002 meeting.
As people get older, large arteries lose their elasticity and get stiff, causing high blood pressure and enlarging the heart. Both are serious risk factors for heart disease. After menopause, women are at especially high risk.
But the study showed that a bit of walking -- not even brisk walking, just at a moderate pace --- can transform stiffening arteries into more pliable ones, like younger women have.
The 12-week study involved a group of 14 women, all about age 60, who didn't exercise but were otherwise healthy. At the end of the study, they all had nearly 50% improvement in elasticity of arteries.
The exercise schedule: the women walked just five days a week for 40 to 45 minutes.
"What pleased us most was the size of the change relative to the simplicity of the exercise involved, and the short time required to see a marked improvement in elasticity," says lead author Kerrie Moreau, PhD, with the University of Colorado Human Cardiovascular Research Laboratory in Boulder.
An earlier study by this team found similar benefits in healthy middle-aged and older men.� 2002 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.