Women's Health: How Taking More Steps Adds Up For Midlife Women

11/29/2012 11:58 am ET

While the benefits of joining a gym are innumerable, the first step to healthy living may just be taking the stairs instead of the elevator. By walking 6,000 or more steps a day -– regardless of how you get them in -- has health benefits for midlife women, according to a new study published Menopause in the journal of the North American Menopause Society.

Taking a few more steps can reduce a woman's chance of diabetes and metabolic syndrome, a grouping of poor health symptoms that increase the risk for coronary artery disease and stroke.

In Passo Fundo, Brazil, researchers recorded the number of daily steps taken by 292 women aged 45 to 72. Women who took 6,000 or more steps a day were less likely to be obese, have metabolic syndrome or diabetes, regardless of a number of risk increasing factors, like going through menopause or hormone therapy. Pedometers are a great way to keep track of how many steps you take in a day.

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

Dr. Colvin's Advice For Staying Active After 50
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