Walk Your Stroke Risk Away

close up of feet walking away

For those days when it’s too cold or you’re too tired to get some exercise, here’s a little extra motivation: A British study suggests that walking for an hour or two every day could protect you from a stroke.

The study collected data on approximately 3,500 healthy men aged 60 to 80 from 24 British towns. Over the next 10 years, men who walked eight to 14 hours a week cut their risk for stroke by about one-third compared to men who walked zero to three hours a week. Additionally, men who walked more than 22 hours a week reduced their stroke risk by two-thirds. The study was published online November 14, 2013, in Stroke, a journal of the American Heart Association.

Another bonus: It didn't matter how fast the men walked—the important thing is just to get moving. Running errands? Park your car away from the store. Work in a high rise? Take the stairs. Have a free lunch break? Take a walk around the block. All of those minutes will add up to you walking off your stroke risk. The bottom line: The more active you are throughout the day, the better your health.

Fight stroke and heart disease

Here are more simple ways you can keep your heart and blood vessels healthy and young.

  • Work up a sweat. It takes just 90 minutes of activity per week to improve cardiovascular health.
  • Stop strokes with healthy habits. Walking is one of the five habits that can dramatically drop your stroke risk (and prevent high blood pressure and diabetes, to boot). See the other four.
  • Take action. Check out these tips to keep your ticker strong.
  • Reap the benefits. Aheart-healthy lifestyle also helps you dodge erectile dysfunction, memory loss and more.

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