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WALK IT OFF

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Who'd believe with all the Spinning, kickboxing, and crunching going on in gyms that walking would pull ahead of the pack as the ideal exercise? "Over the last 5 years we've seen a number of epidemiological studies that show moderate walking-not hard-core sports or marathon running-leads to positive health outcomes," says Mark Fenton, host of the PBS television series America's Walking. In addition to clinical studies that have shown walking cuts the risk for heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers, research from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, published in November 2006, found that single sessions of walking can improve insulin sensitivity-a key to preventing diabetes-in overweight African American women with poor insulin resistance.

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