A study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal earlier this year suggests that as little as 10 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in adults over the age of 40 could prevent approximately 110,000 deaths in the United States annually. The data for this study was gathered from 2003 to 2006 by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHNES) which asked participants to wear an accelerometer to measure their activity levels for 7 days. Researchers then tracked the death rates of almost 5,000 participants through 2015. While the study suggested just 10 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise could help prevent deaths, doing 20 to 30 minutes of exercise each day could make an even greater impact.
Most of us know that getting more exercise is good for our health, both physically and mentally, so while the reported data may not come as a huge surprise, it is certainly a good reminder, especially for those over the age of 40. Here are a few ways you might integrate at least 10 minutes of exercise into your daily routine:
- A brisk walk on your lunch break
- Dancing to 3 of your favorite songs
- Riding your bike to the store
- Doing bodyweight exercises, like squats or push-ups, while you watch your nightly TV show
- Following along with an online exercise video
To be clear, the study looks at broad population-level statistics and not individual-level results, so it suggests that if the entire US population exercised a bit more each day, we would likely be healthier and possibly live longer, but is not a prescription for a specific person. If you are considering starting a new exercise routine, please consult with your health care provider first.
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Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please seek the advice of a qualified medical professional before beginning or ending medical treatment or if you have questions regarding a medical condition.