The number of steps matters: 12,000 steps a day can add years to your life

A study shows walking combats not just heart disease but all disease

SAN ANTONIO – February is American Heart Month, and heart disease is the number one leading cause of death in the U.S., affecting over 121 million Americans.

But can just putting one foot in front of the other significantly lower your risk, not only against heart disease, but all diseases?

Most people may think that to be super heart healthy, they need to run so many miles a day or do vigorous cardio.

Of course, intense exercise is wonderful for your heart and overall health, but a recent study showed that just by walking, you can significantly increase your chances of living longer.

The results showed that the more steps you take a day can greatly lower your chances of dying from not just heart disease but all diseases.

But does it have to be 10,000 steps? That is the goal, and here’s why.

Researchers studying the walking habits of nearly 5,000 people over the age of 40 found that 64% of those who averaged just 4,000 steps a day died within the 10-year study versus only 9% of people who took 12,000 steps a day.

Ten-thousand steps is about four miles a day and 12,000 steps is about five miles, depending on the size of the person.

Taking all these steps doesn’t have to be done all at once. Cardiologists say walking five times a week for at least 30 minutes is great, but so is walking for five, 10 or 15 minutes at a time — as many times as it takes.

In fact, the more often you get up and move, the better. What’s bad are long periods of sedentary behavior.

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About the Author:

Sarah Acosta is a weekend Good Morning San Antonio anchor and a general assignments reporter at KSAT12. She joined the news team in April 2018 as a morning reporter for GMSA and is a native South Texan.