How to live longer: The 10-minute activity to slash premature death risk by 40%
Study finds being OUTDOORS helps you live longer
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Researchers from the Inje University Sanggye Paik Hospital in South Korea say that walking for 10 minutes a day at an elderly age can reduce someone’s risk of dying by 40 percent.
Their conclusion was reached after conducting analysis of 7,047 adults all over the age of 85 who partook in the Korean National Health Screening Programme between 2009 and 2014. On average, the participants were 87 years old.
Dr Moo-Nyun Jin, said of the study: “Adults are less likely to meet activity recommendations as they get older. Our study suggests that walking at least one hour every week is beneficial for people aged 85 years and older. Put simply, walk for 10 minutes every day.”
Dr Jin, a cardiologist, added: “Walking was linked with a lower likelihood of dying in older adults, regardless of whether or not they did any moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity. Our study indicates that walking even just one hour every week is advantageous to those aged 85 years and older compared to being completely inactive.”
Why does walking have such a significant impact?
Walking is a form of cardiovascular exercise, one that improves the health of the cardiovascular system, which the body needs to breath and maintain overall health.
The healthier the body’s cardiovascular system the more oxygen that can be pumped around to crucial organs such as the lungs, heart, and the brain. The more oxygen that reaches the brain, the healthier it can be.
Senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, Chloe MacArthur said: “Walking was linked with a lower likelihood of dying in older adults, regardless of whether or not they did any moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity.”
MacArthur added the BHF’s own study indicated “that walking even just one hour every week is advantageous to those aged 85 years and older compared to being completely inactive”.
What are the other benefits of walking?
As well as reducing the risk of a premature death, walking helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events that would lead to a premature death such as heart attacks on strokes.
MacArthur added: “It’s never too late to get active. Start small and try to incorporate more movement in your day-to-day life, whether that is doing the housework, gardening or popping out for a quick stroll.
“For anyone who isn’t mobile, chair-based exercises that can be completed at home can also be beneficial. You’ll find that those active minutes soon start to add up.”
With regard to how much exercise is needed to maintain or improve overall health, the NHS recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense physical exercise per week. While this is the minimum, the more exercise which is conducted, the greater the benefits.
What are the most common forms of heart disease?
The most common form of heart disease is a condition known as coronary heart disease (CHD); this occurs when the heart’s arteries become blocked up with fatty deposits, a process known as atherosclerosis.
Symptoms of CHD include:
• Chest pain
• Shortness of breath
• Pain throughout the body
• Feeling faint
• Feeling sick.
Someone’s risk of CHD can be increased if they already have a form of heart disease such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Often the treatment of these conditions can help alleviate CHD.
However, not always, and in some cases more dramatic steps such surgery may be required clear the blockage or remove and replace the heart entirely.
Meanwhile, although exercise plays a key role in helping someone to live a longer life, it isn’t the only factor.
While cycling, walking, swimming and other activities can help someone to lose weight and improve their mental health, it needs to be conducted in tandem with a balanced diet.
A balanced diet is one low in fat and sugar, but high in vitamins, protein and fibre; these can help keep the gut and mind healthy and work with the exercise to create a base to build on.
Furthermore, lifestyle factors such as quitting smoking and reducing alcohol intake can also have a positive impact.
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