Walking is one of the best ways to lose weight, maintain healthy bones and reduce your risk of heart disease. But did you know that walking may also help you ward off breast cancer? New research by the American Cancer Society may give you one new reason to lace up your shoes and hit the pavement.
How Much Walking Is Enough?
In the study published in October 2013 issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention, researchers evaluated 73,615 postmenopausal women who were already taking part in a project to evaluate cancer risk factors. They found that among women who reported walking as their only activity, those who walked at least seven hours per week had a 14 percent lower risk of breast cancer compared to those who walked three or fewer hours per week.
So does that mean that women who walk less than seven hours should give up? Absolutely not! Remember that you gain benefits from any workout. If you complete 150 total minutes of moderate walking (that’s about 2.5 hours) you boost your heart health. But the new research may provide incentive to increase your efforts.
How to Improve Your Walking Workout
If you want to increase the number of days you spend walking or the number of minutes you spend on each workout, remember that small steps are best. If you currently walk 20 minutes each day, add 10 minutes to your workouts each week to build your stamina. Already doing hour-long walks? Add a few strength training exercises to the end of your workout to boost your bone health.