In the search for how to live longer, researchers have long known of the connection between physical activity and longevity. But now a new study has revealed that even as little as 10 minutes of exercise a day can add years of life for elderly men.
The study asked whether the duration of exercise mattered more than a combined total when it comes to longevity effects. In other words, to gain those added years, do you need to hit the gym for a 30-minute workout, or take that 30-minute walk? Or is it all right to get 10 minutes in the morning? Plus, 10 minutes after lunch. And then a 10-minute evening stroll after dinner?
The study observed 1,180 men who were in their seventies. The participants agreed to wear fitness trackers throughout the 5-year study period. The authors of the study concluded that the intensity or length of the exercise was less important than believed.
Health benefits were a result of the sum of the participants’ active states. Seniors who had sporadic active states throughout the day had the same health benefits as those who fit their exercise into one session.
One’s environment becomes an essential factor in the amount of physical activity one can get as one ages. Certain assisted living communities provide activities that can keep seniors active. Sites such as elderwise.com provide customer reviews of various senior living communities. And provides in-depth detail about programs that each facility offers.
The important thing to note from the study is that all activities that keep one active are beneficial. Even if the activity is spread throughout the day. Simply by being more active and breaking up walking sessions, you can decrease the risk of early death by 17 percent. This should come as welcome news for you if you have not been able to find an exercise plan that suits.
Now that longevity has been connected to just moving about more, here is how to increase your active time throughout your day.
Use the TV as a prompt.
Whenever your favorite show breaks for commercials, use that time to stand up and walk around your living room or walk in place in front of the TV. One estimate of cable networks found the average amount of ads was 15 minutes per hour.
Spending hours in front of the TV has been linked to the dreaded “sitting disease.” But you could turn TV viewing into a health prompt by doing light activity whenever commercials come on.
Your 2 hours of TV viewing time does not need to be to the detriment of your health. Instead, it could mean a total of 30 minutes of light physical activity per day!
Watch the sunrise and the sunset.
Is there a corner near your home where the sunrise or sunset looks particularly grand? Make a date with yourself to walk out and watch the beginning or end of each day, whichever you like best.
That little walk can help ward off depression, lighten your mood, and prime you for ending or starting your day off right. Not to mention all the benefits to your heart and health, too.
Go mall walking.
Next time you are out shopping, before heading home, take one last circle around the store for your health.
Walking in malls or at the grocery store can alleviate the boredom of walking on the treadmill. Or of walking around the neighborhood block. At the mall or in a grocery store, you are surrounded by people and products, which can keep your walk entertaining.
Meet up with family and friends somewhere outside. Instead of having them visit you, agree to meet up at a separate location. This will get you up and out of your house. At least some of the distance traveled will require you to walk for a certain amount of the way.
If you need to wait for them to show up, use that time to walk about a little. Avoid the benches if the wait will be a short one. You can always sit again if you get tired.
Play with your grand kids.
Yes, it might be hard to keep up. But simply being with your grandchildren will require you to move about more. Play tag with your grand kid. Help her fly a kite. Or teach him how to ride a bike. You will not only be doing your health a favor, but your grandchildren will love that quality time spent with you.
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