A Bit of Exercise, But a Lot of Benefit

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By: Linda von Wartburg

There's been a plethora of research lately documenting the healthbenefits of any sort of exercise, no matter how modest. The mostrecent documents a twelve-week study of 106 sedentary middle-agedfolks who were assigned to one of three regimens: walking thirtyminutes three days a week; walking thirty minutes five days a week;or doing nothing at all.

The walkers were even allowed to break their thirty-minute stints upinto three bouts of ten minutes long. Really, you can't get mucheasier than that.

In both walking groups, systolic blood pressure and waistcircumference fell significantly and "functional capacity"increased.

For the non-walkers, on the other hand, nothing changed. Even asmall reduction in blood pressure and waist circumference can lowerrisk of cardiovascular disease, and who couldn't use a bit morefunctional capacity? It's a pretty good payoff for a mere half-hourthree times a week.

Sources: Medline Plus
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, September 2007

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