It is the bane of many a woman's life once she hits middle age - the dreaded spare type that refuses to shift. Now Brazilian researchers say they they have the answer - you just need to find the time to walk 6,000 steps a day. Not only will it aid weight loss, but strapping on a pedometer and measuring at least that number of steps can lower the risk of conditions associated with the menopause - such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome, a precursor to diabetes.
Strapping on a pedometer and walking at least 6,000 steps can lower the risk of conditions associated with the menopause such as diabetes
Researchers followed 292 women in Passo Fundo, Brazil, between 45 to 72 and recorded their daily step. They were given health checks such as cholesterol and blood sugar and their waist and hip measurement was taken, to measure abdominal obesity - a risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Women who took 6,000 or more steps per day were considered active and those who took fewer inactive. The study, published in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society, found the active women were much less likely than the inactive ones to be obese.
The report concluded for middle aged women, the journey to health begins with 6,000 steps
It also found they were less likely to have metabolic syndrome or diabetes, whether or not they had gone through menopause- the time of life when these risks usually go up. The report said: 'For midlife women, it looks like the journey to health begins with 6,000 steps.' Pedometers count the number of steps you take, whether you are walking or running. It clips to a waistband or belt. Previous studies have found using a pedometer could halve people’s chances of developing diabetes during middle age.
Volunteers who used the step-counting machines to walk for just half an hour a day for a year radically reduced their risk of suffering the disease. Previous research has shown walking to be an excellent barometer of health. Middle-aged people who walk slowly and have a poor grip could be at greater risk of dementia or stroke in later life, researchers at Boston Medical Centre found. Those with a slower walking speed were found to be one and a half times more likely to develop dementia over the age of 65 compared with those who were speedier. Meanwhile, in 2008 researchers at Canterbury Christ Church University found that men with hypertension saw their blood pressure reduced for four hours after just a 30 minute walk.
Source: Daily Mail UK