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Study suggests walking 10,000 fast-paced steps a day to help your arteries repair themselves

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In recent times, walking 10,000 steps a day has become a popular fitness goal. Many apps have been designed to track your steps up-to 10,000.

The idea of walking 10,000 steps a day to improve your health came to light as part of a marketing strategy by Japanese company JAMA Internal Medicine, according to research published in 2019.

Professor Tony Blazevich, an expert in biomechanics at Edith Cowan University, said these outcomes make “heaps of sense,” especially when looking at cardiovascular health.

“The more your blood flows through your arteries, the more they trigger the self-renewal processes in your arteries,” he said, pointing out that faster-paced walking increases people’s heart rate more than slower walking.

“Theoretically, if you can get your heart rate up and get the blood flowing faster you might repair your arteries a bit better. Extra blood flow can be really good for all parts of our body – our brains, our muscles, everything.”

Many scientists have now determined that 10,000 steps is indeed a great goal for a myriad of health outcomes, however the speed you walk at could be just as crucial.

Scientists from both the University of Sydney and the University of Southern Denmark carried out a study with 78,500 adults in the UK for a 2 year period.

They wore activity trackers 24 hours a day for a period of 7 days, which recorded how many steps they walked as well as the pace at which they walked. Researchers studied their health outcomes 7 years later.

The study found that walking 10,000 steps a day decreases the risk of dementia by about 50 per cent, the risk of getting cancer by about 30 per cent and the risk of cardiovascular disease by about 75 per cent.

The study did add a caveat that the findings are “observational,” meaning the results cannot be proven to be a direct cause and effect.

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