Exercise is an important habit in maintaining a healthy heart – even if it’s just walking. Find out how walking helps your heart.
You don’t have to go all during your workouts to reap benefits for your heart health; simply walking can go a long way. However, a 2018 study in the European Heart Journal suggests that walking speed does matter when it comes to lowering heart disease risk.
In their study, researchers found that participants with a slower pace were twice as likely to die from heart disease compared to brisk walkers. In other words, if you’re walking to decrease your risk of heart disease, it’s better to pick up your speed if you want to maximize your benefits.
In addition, researchers found that those with a low body mass index (BMI) were at higher risk, possibly due to malnourishment or higher levels of muscle tissue loss because of age. Moreover, slow walkers also showed low fitness levels, which may have contributed to their higher risk of heart disease.
Fitness and Heart Health
According to preventive cardiologist Haitham Ahmed, MD, the study results demonstrate that our fitness levels help predict our overall risk of heart disease. “The study found that people who were brisk walkers had significantly lower cardiac and all-cause death, which makes sense because those people have higher cardiorespiratory fitness,” says Ahmed, who was not involved in the study.
Ahmed also adds that previous research shows that increasing your fitness level will ultimately help improve your heart health. If you notice you are losing strength or walking slower over time, let your doctor know as this may be a subtle sign of heart disease. But if not, then make it a goal to increase your exercise level and walking speed to benefit your heart health.
“We tend to lose our muscle mass after age 40 by approximately one percent per year every year,” says Ahmed. “If you feel like you aren’t as strong as you used to be, and you know that you haven’t been doing resistance training, it’s definitely something to incorporate into your exercise routine.”
It’s also a good idea to check in with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine, especially if you have any health conditions.
Taking Care of Your Heart
Walking is a simple activity that many people can do; however, the goal is to walk briskly so you can get your heart pumping. As you do so, your heart muscle will become stronger and you can lower your risk of heart disease while also enhancing your overall health.
If you want an extra boost for your heart, you can also take supplements like L-arginine Plus. Its ingredients are designed to promote circulation and energy levels while supporting your blood pressure, cholesterol, and more. Give your heart what it needs by making brisk walks a daily habit and by taking L-arginine Plus.