If you are in good shape, you may not think you need to exercise. But research conducted by the University of Cambridge and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds that you are twice as likely to die from not getting enough exercise as from being obese. Fortunately, a little exercise goes a long way in protecting your health. In fact, the study showed that just a 20-minute brisk walk every day can keep you well.
The researchers examined the health habits of more than 334,000 European men and women. They found the death rate was twice as high for those who did not exercise regularly, as those participants who were obese but inactive. The variable was the 20-minute daily walk, or a comparable cardiovascular activity on a daily basis. According to the study results, walking can reduce your risk of an early death by up to 30 percent.
Of course, obesity does cause major health risks. If your weight falls into the obese range, you are more likely to experience cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, gallstones, gallbladder disease, gout, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, breathing issues, and some cancers. For optimal health, your best bet is to maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly.
When you spend 20 minutes walking briskly, you expend approximately 90 to 110 calories. Longer exercise sessions can help burn fat, but that 20-minimum basic program, adhered to every day, lowered the risk of premature death by a minimum of 16 percent, and as much as 30 percent. There are other benefits, as well. It reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and metabolic syndrome. Moderate regular exercise can also help you control your weight, regulate your sleep patterns, and strengthen your muscles and bones. It also delivers a boost to your mood, and helps eradicate depression.
Whether or not your weight is at an optimal level, take care of yourself with a 20-minute daily walk. It’s a regimen that delivers tremendous health benefits to people of every shape and size.