Want to lower your risk of heart disease? All it takes is a little daily walking. According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), adults who walk just 7,000 steps per day are 50% to 70% less likely to die from heart disease than those who walk fewer steps.
About the Study
For the study, researchers tracked the health markers of adults between the ages of 38 and 50. Researchers specifically focused on how many steps the participants walked in a typical day as well as participants' rates of heart disease and heart disease-reated fatalities. Researchers concluded that walking just 7,000 steps per day can cut the risk of heart disease by up to 70%.
How Walking Protects Against Heart Disease
Walking is a form of cardiovascular exercise that, like all forms of cardiovascular exercise, is good for your heart. It encourages the heart to work harder, resulting in a stronger heart that's better protected from disease.
Assuming you do it on a daily basis, walking can also lower your blood pressure. High blood pressure is a common risk factor for heart disease. Adults who suffer from high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease than those with normal blood pressure levels. By walking daily, you can keep your blood pressure levels in check while subsequently lowering your risk of heart disease.
Walking Tips for a Healthier Heart
For a healthier heart, you should strive to walk at least 7,000 steps per day. As revealed in the study cited above, doing so will lower your risk of heart disease. 7,000 steps is roughly three miles. You may already walk this amount when shopping, working and running errands. If you don't, however, you should change your habits so that you walk for at least 7,000 steps -- the equivalent of three miles -- each day.
You may want to invest in a new pair of shoes. Your shoes won't necessarily affect your heart health. Nonetheless, you'll be able to walk for more steps if you're wearing a comfortable pair of shoes. Shoes that are worn out or don't fit can cause discomfort. And when you experience discomfort, you may find yourself walking less frequently.
Changing your walking pace can have a positive impact on your heart health. A brisk walking pace, for instance, will prove more beneficial than a slow walking pace. You don't have to necessarily run or even jog, but you should consider speeding up your walking pace for a healthier heart.