Officials: Heart health important

By Shari Lopatin: TriWest Healthcare Alliance

According to Harvard Health Publications, walking regularly can reduce your chance of getting a heart condition by about 30 percent.

Those results came from the analysis of 18 studies conducted between 1970 and 2007. Study participants who walked 5.5 miles each week began showing benefits in heart-related health. The more people walked, the greater the resulting benefits.

So, just how can walking help you live healthier?

Heart health benefits of walking:

“While countless activities are available to try, such as cycling or yoga, walking has the lowest drop-out rate,” said Meghean Cook, TriWest Healthcare Alliance health coach.

Regular walking can:

  • Lower your risk of heart disease
  • Improve your blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • Lower bad cholesterol, while raising good cholesterol
  • Help maintain your weight
  • Lower the risk of obesity
  • Reduce your risk of type-two diabetes

In addition, speed-walking 35 minutes-a-day, five days-a-week can help lower the risk of the onset of depression.

A Harvard health study published in 2005 proved such activity had a significant influence on mild to moderate depression. If walking five days a week is too often, you can substitute it for 60 minutes-a-day, just three times-a-week, for similar results.

Start a walking club

If you prefer not walking alone, or need new motivation to get up and move, why not start your own walking club? The American Heart Association can “walk” you through the steps.

If don’t want to start your own, you can also browse nearby clubs based on zip code. Walking clubs aren’t just a positive way to improve one’s health. They can also develop into great social bonding experiences with new or existing friends.

For more healthy living tips, visit TriWest’s Healthy Living Portal at