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Walking may cut risk of strokes

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A patient’s stroke risk could be reduced by walking for a minimum of three hours every week, especially among women, a study has shown.

The results, released in the journal Stroke, reconfirm the findings of other studies which assert that regular exercise has significant health benefits.

The research surveyed 33,000 men and women aged between 29 and 69 years old about their exercise habits between 1992 and 1996, and then conducted an evaluation in 2006 to find if any cardiovascular conditions had occurred.

It was discovered that women who walked for a minimum of 210 minutes a week had fewer strokes in both women who were less active, and those who engaged in extreme fitness regimes.

The researchers totalled the overall number of strokes in both males and females, which reached 442. They concluded that women who walked at least three hours on a weekly basis reduced their stroke risk by 43%, compared with women who did not do any exercise.

But this observation was not replicated in men, and this may be because the male participants had a better level of fitness when they first participated in the research.

Head author, José María of the Murcia Regional Health Authority in Spain, said: “The message for the general population remains similar: regularly engaging in moderate recreational activity is good for your health.”

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