Why walk?

Several studies have been published recently into the beneficial effects of walking to reduce various diseases including breast cancer, bowel cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

As October is Breast Cancer Awareness month it is significant to note that a recent report which followed 73,000 post menopausal women for 17 years, found walking for at least seven hours a week lowered the risk of the disease.

This study, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention followed 73,615 women aged who had been recruited by the American Cancer Society so it could monitor the incidence of cancer in the group.

They were asked to complete questionnaires on their health and their participation in activities such as walking, swimming and aerobics.

Of the women, 47% said walking was their only recreational activity.

Those who walked for at least seven hours per week had a 14% lower risk of breast cancer compared to those who walked three or fewer hours per week.

The study found that walking one hour a day was associated with a lower risk of breast cancer in these women and more strenuous and longer activities lowered the risk even more.

Walking for health

This comes at the same time that the Ramblers Association with Macmillan Cancer support released a study claiming that physical inactivity is responsible for 17 per cent of deaths in the UK and can take three to five years off your life.

“People who stay active are less stressed, sleep better, have a 30 per cent lower risk of getting depressed and reduce their risk of developing dementia,” it said.

“Physical inactivity now rivals smoking as one of the nation’s biggest health problems.”

They suggest that as little as 150 minutes of “moderate” activity such as cycling or brisk walking can extend lives by helping lower stress levels and keeping them happier and healthier.

Health and Lifestyle advice

If you would like help on health, diet and lifestyle, why not book in with Pippa Mitchell, our Nutritional Therapist who can provide you with your own tailor-made action plan.