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ACSM In The News

ACSM is fortunate to be the go-to source on sports medicine and exercise science for several national and international media outlets. You can find some of our most recent coverage below, or you can view archived articles.  

Walking can be a lifesaver, but many need to pick up pace

by Nanci Hellmich | Oct 21, 2013

Regular exercise, such as brisk walking, may be one of the best prescriptions for improving your health, recent research confirms.

One study showed that taking a 15-minute moderate-paced (3 mph) walk about 30 minutes after a meal helped control blood sugar in people who are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Other research found that exercise may be as effective as medication in preventing early death in people who have had heart attacks or strokes.

About 25% of all breast cancer cases in women of all ages could be avoided by maintaining a healthy body weight and doing regular physical activity, research shows.

These studies add to a large volume of research on the benefits of regular physical activity. Exercise has been shown to lower the risk of early death, help control weight and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, some types of cancer and a host of other conditions.

"Walking is really powerful medicine," says Miriam Nelson, a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston and co-author of Strong Women Stay Young. "Exercise targets so many different aspects of health."

Almost nothing is easier and cheaper than walking, but many people need to pick up the pace and put some spring into their step, she says. And they need to walk whenever they can: Walk to do errands, walk the dog, go out and enjoy a local park.

It's probably the most convenient physical activity that you can work into your life, says exercise physiologist Richard Cotton, a spokesman for the American College of Sports Medicine in Indianapolis. "It just requires shoes. You can walk wherever you are, even if it's just walking in place in your house or taking the stairs more."

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