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Monday
Feb042013

6,000 Steps to Good Health

Walking or running 6000 steps in a day can lead to good overall healthDo you know how many steps you take each day? A typical adult female takes about 5,117, which is just about a two to two and a half mile walk, and adding 1000 more steps may be enough to lower the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. A study from Brazil came to this conclusion after comparing the number of daily steps taken by 292 women age 45 to 72 as measured by pedometers. The researchers also checked the women’s cholesterol, blood sugar and waist and hip measurements in order to determine the presence of abdominal obesity, a risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. All told, the investigators determined that taking 6,000 or more steps daily decreases the overall risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Surprisingly, it didn't matter whether those 6,000 steps were part of a woman's normal physical activity in her daily life or were performed during an exercise program. The study was published online in November 2012 by the journal Menopause.

My take? Daily exercise is especially important for midlife women for a number of reasons: weight bearing exercise such as walking can help keep their bones and heart strong and also lower the risk of breast cancer. Regular physical activity may also help reduce hot flashes, counter depression, sharpen thinking, and promote good sleep. This new study is interesting because it appears to quantify the amount of activity needed to rein in the risks of diabetes and metabolic syndrome that can increase at midlife, and suggests that normal daily activity - not necessarily a structured exercise program - can do the trick.

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Reader Comments (2)

Oh yes, things certainly do begin to change around the age of 45 and it is so important to stay as active as you can. I used to gain muscle just by looking at weights, now I am fighting to keep my muscles from wasting away as I go through menopause.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDeeDee

Almost every physician suggests that the best exercise for the body is walking. Depending on your age, you can choose to walk slow, brisk or run. The benefits are plenty: improves respiration, increases blood circulation, puts the whole body in motion, lessens cholesterol, keeps diabetes under check, revitalizes the body and more.

February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Anderson

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