How a 15 Minute Daily Walk Can Extend Your Life Expectancy If you are looking for an easy, drug-free way to extend your life expectancy while improving your overall health and wellness, a simple 15-minute daily walk can be your ticket to longevity.
According to a recent report by researchers in Taiwan, study participants who walked about 15 minutes a day at a leisurely pace experienced a 14 percent reduction in their overall risk of mortality when compared to non-walkers. The study, published in the October 2011 issue of The Lancet followed nearly half a million Taiwanese men and women between 1996 and 2008.
Researchers tracked the amount of self-reported exercise the participants engaged in, comparing exercise frequency and intensity with mortality rates, risk factors and life expectancy. Both men and women who reported walking for an average of 15 minutes daily enjoyed a life expectancy that was 3 years longer than study participants who did no exercise at all.
The Swiss Stair Climbing Study
The life-extending benefit of low-intensity daily exercise was also shown by a Swiss study that asked participants to simply take the stairs rather than ride the elevator at work for a period of 12 weeks. During that time, study participants experienced a marked improvement in their overall fitness levels including reduced blood pressure levels, lowered body mass index readings and increased lung capacity. At the end of the 3 month study, participants had improved their overall fitness level to their point where their risk of a premature death was cut by 15 percent.
Other Benefits of Daily Exercise
While most doctors, physiologists and fitness professionals recommend at least 30-45 minutes of daily physical activity for optimal health and wellness, simply doing 15 minutes of low-impact, moderate exercise is clearly worthwhile. In addition to the extended life expectancy that the Taiwanese study attributed to short daily walks, low-volume, low-intensity activities like walking offers a host of physical and physiological benefits.
Exercise has been linked to a strong immune system, thanks to the increased circulation and white blood count that are the result of aerobic workouts. Daily exercise has also been proven to help reduce chronic stress, managing the way the body excretes stress hormones that can cause inflammation leading to cardiac disease, arthritis and weight retention.
Finding Time For A 15 Minute Daily Walk
For some people, taking a short walk after dinner has become a lifelong habit, while others head straight to the couch or their favorite lounge chair after a meal. While finding time to exercise can be challenging, with a little creative thinking, everyone can fit a 15 minute walk into their day.
Look for opportunities to squeeze some moderate physical activity into your daily schedule. Simply parking at the furthest spot from a store entrance rather than jockeying for a spot next to the door will force you to take a few extra steps. Follow the example of the Swiss study by taking the stairs instead of riding the elevator, or walk to do short errands instead of driving. By adding just 15 minutes of exercise into your daily schedule you too can enjoy a longer, healthier life.
About the Author:Warren Keith Nietes enjoys discovering and writing about new developments that greatly concern health and wellbeing, particularly those that are related to proper diet and exercise. During her free time, she helps in the blogging and administration activities of hostgator dedicated hosting site. Watch out for her next post for more new health discoveries.