Walking Packs Huge Health Punch, Study Confirms

Brisk Walk Every Day May Ward Off Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes

ABC News OnCall Diabetes Center
Dec 17, 2007
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – A brisk 30-minute walk 6 days a week is enough to trim waistlines and cut the risk of metabolic syndrome — an increasingly common condition that is linked to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, a new study indicates.

“Our study shows that you’ll benefit even if you don’t make any dietary changes,” study leader Johanna L. Johnson, a clinical researcher at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, said in a statement.

It’s estimated that about one quarter of all U.S. adults have metabolic syndrome — a cluster of risk factors that raise the odds of developing heart disease, diabetes and stroke. To be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, a person must have at least three of these five risk factors — a large waistline, high blood pressure, high levels of harmful triglycerides, low levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, and high blood sugar — and according to many studies, a growing number of people have these problems.

The new findings stem from the STRRIDE study — an acronym for Studies of a Targeted Risk Reduction Intervention through Defined Exercise — in which investigators 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 study subjects met the criteria for metabolic syndrome. At the end of the 8-month exercise program, only 27 percent did.


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