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10,000 steps + speed = better health

Many people track their steps and try to log 10,000 every day for better health. If you add speed to that mix, you'll likely get even more health benefits. Viv Williams has the details of a new study in this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion."

Every step you take may help to reduce your risk of many diseases. (Fotolia / TNS)
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ROCHESTER — Logging 10,000 steps a day may help to reduce your risk of dementia, heart disease, cancer and death. But if you pick up your walking pace and do a power walk, the resulting health benefits may rise above what you’d get from just counting steps.

In a new study , researchers from the University of Sydney and the University of Southern Denmark analyzed activity and health data of 78,500 adults over time. They found that those who walked faster experienced more health benefits that those who relied on tallying steps alone.

“The take-home message here is that for protective health benefits people could not only ideally aim for 10,000 steps a day but also aim to walk faster,” says co-lead author Dr. Matthew Ahmadi, from the University of Sydney.

But if you’re not that active, there’s also some good news. The researchers found that while moving more and faster seemed to produce the healthiest results, even logging just 3,800 steps a day was associated with a 25% risk of dementia. So don’t get discouraged if you’re not a fast walker or you don’t get in 10,000 steps a day. Just get moving.

The research is published in both JAMA Internal Medicine and JAMA Neurology.



Follow the  Health Fusion podcast on  Apple,   Spotify and  Google podcasts. For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at  vwilliams@newsmd.com. Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

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Opinion by Viv Williams
Viv Williams hosts the NewsMD podcast and column, "Health Fusion." She is an Emmy (and other) award-winning health and medical reporter whose stories have run on TV, digital and newspaper outlets nationwide. Viv is passionate about boosting people's health and happiness by helping them access credible, reliable and research-based health information from top experts. She regularly interviews experts and patients from leading medical institutions, such as Mayo Clinic.
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