In a new study from Brown University, researchers found older women who reported a faster walking pace had a lower risk of developing heart failure.
Heart failure is a condition that develops when your heart doesn’t pump enough blood for your body’s needs.
This can happen if your heart can’t fill up with enough blood. It can also happen when your heart is too weak to pump properly. The term “heart failure” does not mean that your heart has stopped.
In the study, among 25,183 women ages 50–79 years, there were 1,455 heart failure hospitalization cases during a median follow-up of 16.9 years.
The team found compared with women who walked at a casual pace, those who walked at an average pace or a fast pace had 27% and 34% lower risks of heart failure, respectively.
Fast walking for less than 1 hour per week was linked to the same risk reduction of heart failure as average or casual walking for more than 2 hours per week.
This study confirms other studies demonstrating the importance of walking speed on mortality and other cardiovascular outcomes.
The team says given that limited time for exercise is frequently given as a barrier to regular physical activity, walking faster but for less time might provide similar health benefits as the recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity.
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The study is published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. One author of the study is Charles B. Eaton, MD, MS.
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