Can walking to work or riding your bicycle really lower your risk for a heart attack?
The CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults, published in July 2009 issue of Archive of Internal Medicine) study followed over 2,300 men and women and found that active commuting to and/or from work really did help lower heart disease risk factors. Unfortunately only 16% of people in the study actually performed active commuting on a daily basis, more men than women.
Men who actively commuted had lower triglyceride (blood fat) levels, lower blood pressures, better insulin levels, lower weights, and higher HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
The number of women who participated in active commuting was too small to determine any significant health benefits but women who performed daily physical activity had healthier numbers.
Numerous factors may not make it feasible for you to walk or bike to your place of employment. But we always like to say that even SMALL CHANGES can make a difference. Try getting off the bus or subway one stop earlier and walking the rest of the way to work. If you have to drive to work, try parking your car further away from the door, which would allow some extra steps. Take a walk at lunch time. All Activity Counts!
“Take Charge: A Woman’s Guide to a Healthier Heart” discusses how women can help control their blood pressure and other risk factors to prevent a heart attack, stroke and heart failure. “Take Charge: A Man’s Roadmap to a Healthier Heart” is due to be released Fall 2009. For more info visit www.heart-strong.com