Women – research proves walking helps your heart!

A new study from University at Buffalo has shown for the first time that walking more can significantly lower the risk of heart failure in older women. The U.S. study of more than 137,000 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 is the largest and most comprehensive to date that has evaluated physical activity within the context of heart failure prevention.

This study shows that physical activity levels are related to a lower risk of developing heart failure, particularly in women.

Heart failure disproportionately affects older adults, with about 80% of cases occurring in people 65 and older. The study showed that the cumulative incidence of overall heart failure for women was lower with increasing physical activity, compared to women who reported no physical activity at baseline. Each additional 30 to 45 minutes per day of activity was associated, on average, with a risk reduction of 9 percent for overall heart failure.

Physical activity and walking were inversely associated with the development of heart failure; however, intensity-specific (mild, moderate, intense) physical activity was not. This suggests that it’s the amount of physical activity performed, rather than the intensity, that can help prevent heart failure later in life – so no excuses, get walking!

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