As many of you are aware, doctors persistently encourage their patients to exercise every day, even if it’s just a short walk. A little exercise is a lot better than no exercise. A new study of almost 1/2 million shows that walking for as little as 5 minutes a day could significantly increase the quality and longevity of one’s life:
You don’t have to run a marathon, or run at all, to reap impressive health benefits from exercise. In fact, if the average adult walked 6 1/2 hours a month - or about the same amount of time it took that pregnant athlete to finish the marathon - he could add three years to his life, according to a new study.
“It doesn’t take a lot. You don’t have to be super intense, like a triathlon or an Alcatraz swim,” said Dr. Moshe Lewis, a California Pacific Medical Center physician who specializes in pain management and sports medicine. “Only 15 minutes a day, that’s not much. It’s great for people to know that walking around, doing some stairs, that’s getting a cardiac regimen going.”
One study of more than 400,000 adults in Taiwan - the same one that showed minimal exercise can add years to someone’s life - found that 15 minutes of moderate exercise, six days a week, reduced the risk of death by 14 percent compared with people who aren’t active at all.
U.S. guidelines suggest at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week, and doctors generally agree that more exercise is better than less. Still, just getting patients out the door for a few short walks a week could do wonders.