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10,000 steps? 3000 could be enough by the time we hit 60

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We have to keep moving, especially as we get older—but we don’t have to hit the mythical 10,000 steps-a-day mark to stay healthy.

Walking just over 3,000 steps every day by the time you reach 60 is enough to reduce the risk of heart failure by 26 percent, researchers have discovered.

The risk starts to fall after walking around 2,500 steps, but the biggest benefit is seen after walking an average of 3,600 steps a day at a normal pace.

Researchers from the University of Buffalo tracked the impact of walking on a group of 6,000 women who were aged between 63 and 99.  During the seven years of the study, 407 women suffered heart failure.

For every 90 minutes of sitting around, heart failure risk rose by 17 percent—but that risk was reversed by light physical activity such as household chores and caring for someone, while moderate activity included walking at a normal pace, climbing the stairs or gardening.

The researchers focused on the most common type of heart failure in older women known as HFpEF (heart failure with preserved ejection fraction).

The average American woman aged 60 walks around 2,340 steps a day—and so preventing heart failure requires stepping out just a little more.

References
JAMA Cardiology, 2024; doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2023.5692
Article Topics: Heart Health, Walking
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