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Step Up to Heart Health

Learn How Walking Can Keep Your Heart Healthy

Getting fit can be a walk in the park! Or around the block. Or across the shopping mall. Walking is easy, convenient and good for your heart.

The benefits really add up: A brisk stroll can raise your heart rate, lower blood pressure and increase blood circulation through your body. It can also increase your lungs' ability to take in oxygen and help reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Even those with a history of heart problems can benefit from walking. Of course, it's important to check with your doctor before beginning any kind of exercise program.

Keep Up the Pace

The key to a successful walking program is to walk at a quick pace of about three to four miles per hour. "Walking briskly for 30-60 minutes at least five days a week can cut your risk of heart disease by up to 40%," says Loryn Feinberg, MD, a cardiologist at the CardioVascular Institute (CVI) at BIDMC.

Short on time? Take three 10-minute walks a day and you'll enjoy the same benefits, according to Dr. Feinberg. "You can add short bursts of activity into your daily schedule by walking at lunch, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking your car farther from the entrance of your destination," she adds.

Walking can also help if you're interested in losing weight (and who isn't?). Ramping up to 60-90 minutes of daily, moderate-intensity walking can help shed pounds, according to the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.

Wait-There's More

"Physical fitness is connected to both disease prevention and longevity," explains Dr. Feinberg. "It can lift your mood and give you more energy. So getting into the habit of taking a brisk walk can help you live longer and healthier and feel better-that's a solid return on the investment of your time!"

The weather is nice, the sun is shining - what are you waiting for? Take a walk!

Check Out Our Free Walking Resources

Contact Information

CardioVascular Institute at
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215