Researchers have found that even a little walking can lengthen your life.
A new study says you don’t have to walk that far to significantly improve your health.
While the recommended levels of weekly activity are 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of intense movement, walking for less time can still positively impact your life span.
The study, that appears online in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, is the first of its kind to study the wellbeing benefits of walking specifically. It focuses on data from 140,000 participants in a cancer prevention study. It found that walking only, and for less than two hours per week, was associated with a 20 per cent dip in their mortality risk.
The investigation, led by Dr Alpa Patel, revealed similar findings for those who exceeded exercise recommendations, proving that a little, or a lot, has an overall effect on health.
“Walking has been described as the ‘perfect exercise’ because it is simple, free, convenient, doesn’t require any special equipment or training, and can be done at any age,” said Dr Patel.
“Clinicians should encourage patients to walk even if less than the recommended amount, especially as they age, for health and longevity.”
Results strongly associated taking a stroll with a 35 per cent lower risk in respiratory disease, and a 20 per cent less risk of cardiovascular disease mortality and with about nine percent less risk of cancer mortality.
Not only will it add years to your life, whether walking to the shops, the beach or simply around the backyard actually makes you feel good thanks to a rise in mood-boosting hormones that are released with movement.
So there’s no need to give up on exercise just because you’re not meeting your everyday target or don’t want to shell out for a gym membership. No matter your age or fitness level, a few steps really can take you a long way.
Are you obsessed with chocolate or nuts about donuts? If so, just how much exercise does it take to work that indulgence off?