Now before we say anything, we don’t want you thinking that you shouldn’t have to exercise anymore. Exercise is the key to staying happy, healthy and refreshed for many different reasons. BUT, a new study from the University Hospital of Saint-Etienne in France suggests that only 15 minutes of walking each day can lower the risk of dying by 22 per cent in men and women sixty years old and over.
For seniors, lead author Dr. David Hupin recommends at least 75 minutes of moderate exercise each week in the study. Scientists studied around 123,000 people for over a decade who were sorted into two different groups: French men and women over 65 and 60-year-olds all over the world. After 18,210 of them passed away for various reasons, the scientists were able to determine that the more exercise done, the longer someone lived (not much of a surprise there). A greater, less-obvious question still lingers, though: do small amounts of exercise every day actually do anything good?
“The more physical activity older adults do, the greater the health benefit. The biggest jump in benefit was achieved at the low level of exercise, with the medium and high levels bringing smaller increments of benefit,” said Dr. Hupin.
Although the amount of energy exerted from exercising depends on the level of intensity of one’s workout, walking at a “brisk” speed for 15 minutes is just what the doctor ordered. 15 minutes of walking a day doesn’t achieve the recommended amount of exercise intensity, however, those who did walk for a short time each day still had the risk of dying from health problems reduced by 22 per cent. The study also points out that we should also aim to gradually increase our daily amount of exercise as we age to help keep us healthy.
Compared to those who were completely inactive and those who exercised intensely on a regular basis (who, by the way, had a 35 per cent chance of living longer), a 15 minute walk each day can make a significant difference in your general well-being.