Does physical activity protect against chronic diseases and mortality because it aids weight loss, or does it give it’s own benefits independent of weight? According to a recent study by European researchers, engaging in a moderate exercise routine, even just completing twenty minutes per day of brisk walking, had been linked to reductions in mortality risk and increase in lifespan. Can you believe it? Just twenty minutes.
The biggest benefits were seen in individuals who went from completely inactive lifestyles to moderately inactive lifestyles. A regular exercise routine not only helps to protect your heart, but it also increases bone density, increases energy levels, and stops muscle atrophy and frailty that often occurs with age. Plus, exercising regularly is crucial for weight control and decreases stress levels. The studies reported that mortality rates among individuals who were physically inactive were more than twice then those of individuals who were obese, indicating that physical activity greatly reduces the risk of mortality regardless of weight.
With that said, exactly how much exercise is necessary? The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity in each week. Even with a busy schedule, there are many ways to include physical activity throughout the day. These include taking the stairs, taking a walk during lunch with a coworker, parking further away from a store so the walk to get inside is further, and carrying groceries in a basket instead of a cart to increase strength activity. The health benefits of physical activity go far beyond weight loss.
With just twenty minutes of moderate exercise you are on your way to a longer and healthier life.
Sources of Information:
Rosenberg, Irwin H., ed. “Activity Benefits Go Far Beyond Weight Loss”. Health and Nutrition Letter 33.2 ( April 2015): 1-3. Print.
“The Top 10 Ways to Fit Fitness into Your ‘Too-Busy’ Schedule.” MomMD.com. N.p., n.d. Web, 11 Apr. 2015