If you have read any of our blogs or seen one of the doctors, you know how much we value an active lifestyle. We have written blog posts on how exercise can help fight depression as well as looked at how inactive lifestyles can have detrimental effects on your body. Our advice is always strive to get an adequate amount of exercise, even if it is just walking daily. There is one common theme that is undeniable – that exercise and activity are beneficial to your physical and mental health.
A new study from the American Cancer Society is yet another example of the positive effects of exercise. The study was conducted over 13 years and looked at a large population of almost 140,000 people with an average age of 69 years old who were participating in the American Cancer Society Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort.
“Going for a walk at an average to brisk pace can provide people with a tremendous health benefit. It’s free, easy, and can be done anywhere,” says Alpa Patel, PhD, Strategic Director, CPS-3, American Cancer Society, and lead investigator of the study.
The findings of the study shed light on the benefits that even minor exercise provide. The researchers found that any level of walking, including levels that were beneath the recommended 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise a week, ended up being correlated with lower mortality risk (longer lives). Participants who walked one to two times the recommended amount saw mortality rates lowered by 20%.
This information tells us, yet again, that even minor exercise is better than nothing. For older people who feel like getting to the gym is just too much, do not give up! Focus on adding in more walking and activity into your daily routine and it can keep you healthier and more active for years to come!