Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Even Moderate Walking Cuts Metabolic Syndrome

walkers on an easy trail (photo by jhy)

from a news release of Duke University Medical Center

Research from Duke University Medical Center shows that even a modest amount of brisk walking weekly is enough to trim waistlines and cut the risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS), an increasingly frequent condition linked to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.

It’s estimated that about a quarter of all U.S. adults have MetS, a cluster of risk factors associated with greater likelihood of developing heart disease, diabetes and stroke: large waist circumference, high blood pressure, high levels of triglycerides, low amounts of HDL, or “good” cholesterol, and high blood sugar. To be diagnosed with MetS, patients must have at least three of these five risk factors, and according to many studies, a growing number of people do.

But Duke Medical Center says a person can lower risk of MetS by walking just 30 minutes a day, six days per week, even without changes in your diet.

“The results of our study underscore what we have known for a long time,” said Duke cardiologist William Kraus. “Some exercise is better than none; more exercise is generally better than less, and no exercise can be disastrous.”

The results come from a multi-year, federally funded study that 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 participants met the criteria for MetS. At the end of the 8-month exercise program, only 27 percent did.

That's encouraging news for sedentary, middle-aged adults who want to improve their health. They can simply walk around the neighborhood after dinner every night.

Those who did a short period of very vigorous exercise didn't improve their MetS scores as much as those who performed less intense exercise for a longer period.

Kraus said there may be more value in doing moderate intensity exercise every day rather than more intense activity just a few days a week.

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Read the entire article: Moderate exercise cuts rate of metabolic syndrome
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