UAE Cardiologists Say Benefits of Walking on Cardiovascular Health Similar to Running
Cooler Months Sees ‘Running Season’ and Outdoor Sports Kick Off
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Local doctors have lauded a new study published by the American Heart Association (AHA) which found that walking briskly lowered the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes as much as running.
Researchers compared 33,060 runners with 15,045 walkers over six years and found that while vigorous running required slightly higher levels of energy than walking at a moderate intensity, both resulted in a similar drop in incidence of high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes or heart disease over the length of the study.
The study’s authors suggested that while walking is not as intense as running, both target the same muscle groups, explaining the similar improvement in heart health.
“We’ve long known that increased activity has a measurable positive effect on cardiovascular health, but it’s very exciting to see that brisk walking delivers similar benefits as that of running, as many people are afraid to run,” said Dr. T.M Jaison, Specialist Cardiologist, Aster Jubilee Medical Centre, Bur Dubai.
“There are three main factors that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease: smoking, an unhealthy diet, and the lack of exercise. If we take care of these aspects, we can remarkably improve our health. Practically everyone could benefit from increasing their daily physical activity, and with winter just around the corner now is the perfect time to take advantage of the weather and spend time outdoors running or walking briskly,” Dr. Jaison added.
According to the AHA’s recommendations for physical activity, adults need at least 2.5 hours of moderate to intense aerobic exercise a week, which is not being met here in the UAE, according to the doctor.
With the close of summer comes a welcome relief to the heat and humidity of the season, and local cardiologists are also urging residents to take advantage of the cooler season to improve their cardiovascular health.
As ‘running season’ kicks off – a series of short and long distance competitive races that take place throughout the cooler months of the year in the UAE – experts are highlighting the benefits that brisk activity can have on cardiovascular health.
“Running season is a great opportunity to improve cardiovascular health. There are many programs available that can help running hopefuls go from almost no activity to being able to run for an extended period of time in just weeks. And now, we also know that if we don’t feel like running, we can also walk to keep fit and prevent cardiovascular problems,” said Julio Maset, Corporate Scientific Manager of Cinfa, a European drugs maker with a history of leadership in cardiovascular therapies.
Hypertension and diabetes, major health problems in UAE
According to a local arm of a recent international study, 41 percent of the UAE population aged 30 years and older has high blood pressure (hypertension), significantly higher than the global average of 25 to 30 percent according to latest data from the World Health Organisation, which has also warned that prevalence will double to 50 to 60 percent by 2025.
The UAE is already seeing a rise in cases of hypertension, especially among a growing number of younger people (under 35), as a result of unhealthy lifestyles including poor diet and lack of exercise. However, because the disease is symptomless many people are unaware they have high blood pressure and go undiagnosed.
Cardiovascular disease is also a major complication of diabetes, and the leading cause of early death among sufferers of diabetes – according to the American Diabetes Association about 65 percent of people with diabetes die from heart disease and stroke. UAE statistics show that as many as 20 percent of the local population are affected by diabetes, with no signs that this number decreasing.
Cinfa is a Spanish pharmaceutical company with more than 40 years of expertise in the industry. It has a professional team of 900 workers motivated by a common health project: giving people access to affordable and high quality treatments. In order to achieve this goal, it has the most advanced technologies and facilities.
Cinfa is the most bought pharmaceutical brand in Spanish homes. It is present in 50 countries and currently expanding internationally. Its portfolio comprises five lines of products: prescription drugs, OTCs, orthopaedics, dermocosmetics and nutraceutical solutions.
Its commitment with innovation, international expansion and environmental issues are the mainstays of the company.
For more information please visit www.cinfainternational.com