The COVID 19 pandemic is creating many health challenges in our nation. It is more important than ever that we take responsibility to promote healthy lifestyles. There are many things that we should be doing as a society to improve our overall health and prevent disease. Things like smoking and reducing alcohol consumption, decreasing blood pressure, cancer screening, eating more fiber, decreasing cholesterol intake, and getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night are all important things that help us live longer.
But what if I told you there was one exercise above everything else that research shows to provide the most benefit to our health and could help you achieve a 23% lower risk of death. Would you do it? What if I told you that with one single exercise you could achieve more than five health benefits. The best exercise for any human being to do is simply walking 30 minutes every day. By introducing a walking program it can strengthen your immune system, help with weight loss, and help you manage stress.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF TAKING A 30-MINUTE WALK:
- Decreased risk of disability from knee osteoarthritis by 48%
- Decreased the chances of developing diabetes by 58%
- Decreased the chance of hip fracture in post menopausal women by 41%
- Combined with medicine and other interventions, reduces the effects of depression by 48%
- Decreased the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s by 50%
In addition to all of the above, walking is a simple exercise and is the number one treatment for chronic fatigue, and helps promote an overall improved quality of life.
Researchers followed 10,000 Harvard graduates for 10 years and discovered that those participants that walked for 30 minutes every day lowered their risk of dying by 23%. Low fitness is the largest predictor of poor health in our society, larger than high blood pressure, obesity, smoking or poor eating habits.
Does walking longer than 30 minutes provide even more health benefit? The answer is NO. The research shows that there are larger health benefits in people that go from low or zero activity compared to those that walk for 30 minutes every day, but less significant differences compared to those that walk 45 or 60 minutes.
For those patients that suffer from orthopedic injuries, The VTFC walking program (see below for details) that will help you build up to 30 to 45 minutes of walking. The best idea is to walk in 10 minutes intervals, 3 times per day, increasing your time each week by 1 to 2 minutes. This way you will improve your fitness level without aggravating your pain.
For more advice on exercise or health, feel free to contact me at Virginia Therapy and Fitness Center (VTFC) 703 709 1116, or send me an email. For more information on the research mentioned above, please search 23 and ½ hours. All we need to do to be healthier is to dedicate a 30 minutes to ourselves out of a 24 hour day.