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Walking Just 35 Minutes a Day Can Reduce Stroke Risk in Elderly

Another study on the benefits of taking a walk has just come out, this time finding that walking just 35 minutes a day can reduce the risk of strokes in the elderly, Financial Express reports. If walking isn’t your “thing,” and you prefer a little stepped-up activity, then swimming or running two to three hours a week can help, too. The study focusing on 925 people with an average of 73 who had a stroke was published in the journal Neurology.

Inactivity is the fourth biggest killer of adults worldwide, and is responsible for 9 percent of premature deaths. Since we already known that walking for 20 to 25 minutes a day can add anywhere from three to seven years to your life, it’s puzzling why so many people seem hesitant to embark on that daily journey.

When you add in the fact that studies like the featured one in today’s article show that walking can be tremendously beneficial for anyone struggling with cardiovascular diseases, the only thing left to do is offer up ways to get going. It starts with simply getting up out of your seat. According to Dr. James Levine, codirector of Obesity Solutions at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix and Arizona State University, you need at least 10 minutes of movement for every hour you sit down.

I recommend limiting your sitting to less than three hours a day, and to make it a point to walk more every day. I suggest aiming for about 10,000 steps per day, over and above any other fitness routine you may have. But, of course, if you’re used to sitting, you may need to start slowly, and that’s OK. Just make it a point to take a 10-minute walk for lunch every day, as just two hours, total, of walking a week can help.

If you’re in a sedentary job that requires sitting all day, make it a goal to get up out of your seat for 10 minutes each hour. Pace in place while you’re on the phone; take the stairs if you have them in your building; or, ask your employer if it’s possible to get a standing desk, where you have the option of standing whenever you want, and still work.

This way you can march in place if you want, and never miss a beat of work. If this sounds appealing and a standing desk isn’t something your employer can give you, try putting your computer on a stack of books, so you can stand anyway — and you will have taken the first step toward a healthier life and stronger heart.