Brisk walking or other forms of moderate physical activity may reduce postmenopausal breast cancer risk, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. During a 20-year follow-up study, it was determined that women who walked briskly for one hour per day had significantly reduced risk of breast cancer in comparison to women who experienced less than one hour of walking per week.
So, how do I walk “briskly”?
Brisk walking is defined as walking 3 to 3.5 miles per hour; however, your fitness level will determine what feels “brisk” to you. If your breathing rate increases, you can speak in short sentences but find singing difficult and you start feeling warmer, then you have found the right pace!
It’s important to walk properly when exercising. Your feet should land on the heel first and roll through the foot to push off of the toes. As you increase your pace, you should also increase your stride rate – not the stride length, which can be stressful on your hips and legs.
The keys to proper form are:
1. Walk tall
2. Head up eyes on the horizon
3. Keep chin parallel to the floor
4. Neck should be long
5. Shoulders relaxed and down
6. Elbows bent with arms swinging back and forth, not side to side
7. Engage abs and buttock muscles for stability and alignment
8. Back should not slump or arch
Time to dust off your sneakers, grab a walking buddy, and hit the road or the treadmill to help reduce your risk of breast cancer today!
“Walk Your Way To Better Health: Taking A Daily Stroll Could Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer”, Weill Cornell Medical College Women’s Health Advisor, Iris Cantor’s Women’s Health Center
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