Although the original phrase involves apples, “a walk a day may keep obesity away” could just become the next creed to live by according to recent research Do you spend too much in front of the TV? Too much time sitting at work? There’s a new scientific report suggesting you a tiny change: taking a 20-minute walk daily could reduce the risk of early death, adding precious years with a few zippy steps.
During a 12-year study, results from more than 300,000 European men and women showed that lack of exercise was twice as deadly as obesity. So, even a small amount of exercise, such as a walk, can bump the benefits instilled in your body, helping you get more active.
Ulf Ekelund, part of the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit and chief of the study, determines what a “brisk walk” should mean: 20 minutes of 4-miles/hour speed should do the trick. The number of calories you should be able to burn in this manner is around 90-110.
Good news for those who have a long habit of not exercising: this daily stroll could upgrade your status from “inactive” to “moderately active”, reducing your premature-death risk with up to 30 per cent.
During the study, the participants whose weight was “normal” benefited the most from the daily walk, but not only them, so do not despair. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put an adult with a BMI (body mass index) between 25 and 29.9 in the overweight category, and an +30 BMI is obese.
There’s already an immense amount of evidence showing that physical exercise boosts your health. Small doses of walking, for example, are effective; there’s no need to have thoughts of marathons.
The new discoveries reinforce the guidelines given by the Mayo Clinic: 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Achieving this goal will surely reduce risks of cardiovascular diseases and make you feel better. However, any upgrading of the time spent exercising (up to 300 minutes per week) will obviously make the benefits go through the roof.
The thumb rule here is that any exercise is better than no exercise, and walking might just be the easiest of them all: you don’t need any special equipment and you can make it a group activity. Incorporating physical activity in everyday life and in the friends and family routine will get you one step closer to reaping the benefits.
Not only does walking improve your health, but it is also proved to battle depression and bad moods. It gives you a boost of energy and clears your mind. After you’ll make a habit of exercising, you’ll see that your mood will suffer in the days you don’t get as active as you’d wish.
Image Source: University of California Riverside