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Walking Fast Could Keep Your Heart Healthy: 5 Foods That May Help Too

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Walking fast could prove to be immensely effective for your heart health. People who are not able to make room for cardio exercises should make sure to walk enough every day to keep their hearts, healthy, youthful and strong. According to a latest study published in British Journal of Sports Medicine, walking faster can help you live longer by maintaining your heart health and also keep risk of cancer at bay.

Through the study, the researchers aimed to determine the associations between walking pace with cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality.
Walking at an average pace also reduced the risk for all cause mortality by 20 per cent whereas walking at a fast pace reduced the risk by four more per cent, compared to walking at a slow pace.

"While sex and body mass index did not appear to influence outcomes, walking at an average or fast pace was associated with a significantly reduced risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease. There was no evidence to suggest pace had a significant influence on cancer mortality however," said lead author, Emmanuel Stamatakis, Professor from Charles Perkins Centre and School of Public Health at University of Sydney.

"A fast pace is generally five to seven kilometres per hour, but it really depends on a walker's fitness levels; an alternative indicator is to walk at a pace that makes you slightly out of breath or sweaty when sustained," he added.

The study included data from 50,225 walkers. What is interesting to note here is the protective effects of walking especially on the elderly. The findings revealed that average pace walkers aged 60 years or over experienced a 46 per cent reduction in risk of death from cardiovascular causes, and fast pace walkers a 53 percent reduction.

The team is hopeful that the walking pace gets emphasised in public health messages and campaigns.
Along with physical activity, your diet also plays a crucial role in keeping your heart strong. Here are five foods you must include in your daily diet to boost heart health.

1. Oats: Oats are known to contain a type of fiber that helps bind bile acids and expel them from the body. These bile acids are made from cholesterol. A diet that includes oats is effective in lowering the cholesterol levels in our body.

2. Nuts: Munching on a handful of nuts can do wonders for your heart. These nuts have high amounts of unsaturated fats that are good for your heart as they help in reducing the inflammation of the arteries.

3. Legumes: Legumes are great for the heart and have antioxidants, proteins and fiber. They are also a great source to get your folate requirement from and also help in increasing the platelet activity.

4. Berries: Berries are full of heart-healthy phytonutrients and lots of soluble fiber. Make a quick smoothie or sprinkle them over your breakfast cereal.

5. Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and phytoestogens and all of these help in boosting heart health. It is best to soak or grind flaxseeds before consuming them to derive maximum health benefits.

Some other fruits and vegetables like oranges, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, carrots and papaya are all rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin E, potassium, folate and fiber which really good for the heart.

(With inputs IANS)

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