Have you ever been told to take the stairs instead of the elevator or park a little further from the grocery store to get some light exercise in? Researchers have recently calculated new numbers showing that even short bursts of physical activity can dramatically improve your physical health.
If every U.S. adult ages 40 to 85 increased their exercise by just 10 minutes per day, the number of deaths would decrease by 6.9%, with more than 110,000 lives saved each year.
A Little Goes a Long Way
How, exactly, can such a small amount of exercise make a difference? Those 10 minutes of motion can pay off nearly instantly. Not long after a moderate-to-vigorous bout of physical activity, you’ll find:
- Your anxiety decreases
- Your blood pressure drops
- Your sleep improves
And over time, each active moment adds up. The long-term benefits of regular physical activity include:
- Improved coordination and balance, reducing your risk of falling
- Cancer prevention
- Reduced risk for heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes
- Stronger bones and muscles
- Warding off weight gain
All these factors contribute to the life-extending benefits of movement.
Find Movement You Enjoy
Any kind of exercise that gets your heart pumping — and that you’ll stick to — is a great exercise to choose. Just make sure it’s at least of moderate intensity, meaning you breathe harder and can’t sing but can still speak.
Traditional workouts such as walking, running, and cycling are always options. But also consider:
- Doing yard work, like raking or pushing a lawn mower
- Playing a new sport, like pickleball with friends
- Dancing to the beat, like doing a few bachata, cha-cha slide or tango steps
Start Moving and Feel Whole
You can start moving right now. Set down your laptop or phone and take a brisk walk around the block or grab your grandkids and play a game of tag outside. Remember that even just 10 extra minutes of movement a day can help you live a longer, healthier life.
At AdventHealth, we’re committed to providing the latest information to keep you and your family healthy. For more tips on improving your wellness, learn more about our wellness care.