Can walking reduce the risk of heart disease?

Bijoy K. Khandheria, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Walking, and other forms of moderate exercise, reduces the risk of heart disease and can also help with diabetes and high blood pressure.

Being active should be one of the best recommendations anyone can give you. When you are active your body is stronger as a whole. Your heart and lungs are working, your muscles are active, your immune system is strong, and your body will reap the benefits. From this result, you are at a lower risk of chronic diseases so being active is very beneficial.

Walking is a great way to increase your physical activity level and reduce the risk for heart and cardiovascular disease. Physical activity such as walking reduces high blood pressure, blood lipid (cholesterol and triglyceride) abnormalities, stroke, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. These disease states are all risk factors for heart disease.
Additionally, walking can decrease stress, depression, and anger - all of which appear to contribute to the development of heart disease and worsening of existing heart disease.
If you would like to begin walking to reduce your risk for heart disease or to prevent worsening of existing disease, speak with your doctor about an exercise plan that is appropriate for you based on medical history, current fitness level, and physical fitness goals. 
Walking is a great form of exercise. Even as little as 30 minutes of walking spread out over the day can reduce your risk of heart disease.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.