Researchers with the University of Ferrara in Italy have discovered that a brisk walk comes with many benefits. Heart patients are even less likely to get hospitalized if they take a brisk walk daily, said study author Carlotta Merlo, a researcher at the University of Ferrara:
“The faster the walking speed, the lower the risk of hospitalization and the shorter the length of hospital stay. Since reduced walking speed is a marker of limited mobility, which has been linked to decreased physical activity, we assume that fast walkers in the study are also fast walkers in real life.”
So, if you know that people your age cannot keep up with your pace, then you’re on the right path.
Fast Walkers Spend Less Time in Hospitals
The study used data from 1,078 hypertensive patients. 85% of the patients had coronary heart disease and the rest of 15% had valve disease. Out of the whole number of patients, 359 were slow walkers, 362 had an intermediate pace and 357 were fast walkers.
The researchers also got all the records of hospitalizations and the period their patients had to stay on a span of three years. In the three years’ span, 51% of the slow walkers had one hospitalization more than the 44% of the intermediate walkers and 31% of the fast ones.
All walking groups spent together 4,186, 2,240, and 990 days in the hospital in three years. Each patient had to stay for an average of 23 days – the slow walkers, 14 days – the intermediate group, and 9 days – the fast walkers.
Start Walking Faster
A person can reduce the likelihood of being hospitalized over a period of three years by 19% if they increase their walking pace with 1km/hour.
Merlo said that “walking is the most popular type of exercise in adults.”
We don’t have to pay for this exercise or learn how to do it. We don’t need to walk long distances, but we should go on brisk walks regularly to improve our health. The study shows that “the benefits are even greater when the pace of walking is increased,” concluded Merlo.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere