A 20 Minute Walk a Day May Save Your Life
We all know that exercise is important to our health, but a recent study by Cambridge University published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that as little as 20 minutes of brisk walking a day could prevent us from dying prematurely. Scientists analyzed the exercise habits of 334,161 Europeans and followed them up after a mean period of 12 years. They examined the relationship between physical activity, obesity, and the risk of death.
What this new study is essentially saying is that inactivity is bad. Real bad. And that virtually any kind of physical activity can stave off premature death. In fact, 20 minutes of exercise reduced the risk of death by 16-30%! This applied to people who were of normal weight and to those who were overweight as well. They also found that inactivity killed twice as many people as obesity.
This study shows that even inactive people who do just a little bit of exercise can reap big rewards.
So Why Aren’t People Exercising?
Most everyone knows the benefits of exercise, but few of us actually do it. Why? Maybe when most people think about exercising, they think about long hours at the gym performing grueling exercises. Perhaps, it’s the preconceived notion that exercise is difficult, or it’s the lack of time due to a busy work day or family commitments. Whatever the case, it doesn’t take much to get results. Something as simple as walking for 20 minutes a day can be enough to provide valuable health benefits.
If you’re looking for more ways to incorporate exercise into your life, consider these simple tips:
•Take a walk outside while talking on the phone.
•Walk or bike to work instead of driving your car.
•Walk during part of your lunch break.
•Walk around the block or field several times while you wait for your child to take a music lesson or practice a sport.
The take home message is this: even though you may not be an “active” person, you can still reap the benefits of exercise by walking just 20 minutes a day.
Simple enough? We think so. Get out there and enjoy. It may just save your life
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