You can dramatically increase your lifespan just by taking a walk. New evidence reveals that the old rule of 10,000 steps daily is outdated, and if you are over 60 you really need only 7,000 steps per day to slash your mortality risk by 50%.
A meta-analysis published in the Lancet medical journal examined 15 studies involving nearly 50,000 adults and found that seniors had a decreasing mortality rate when they walked between 6,000 and 8,000 steps daily, with an average of 7,000 steps to reap the health benefits. For those under the age of 60, the mortality rate dropped when they accomplished 8,000 to 10,000 steps daily, for an average of 9,000 steps to lower the risk. Taking more steps per day was associated with a progressively lower risk of all-cause mortality, up to a level that varied by age, said the authors.
According to Axios, Amanda Paluch, a kinesiologist and public health expert at UMass Amherst and the lead author of the study, said, “Walking benefits nearly every cell of the body. It’s not an all or nothing situation.”
The researchers found that even boosting your daily step count to 5,000 for folks 60 and over and 7,000 for younger individuals slashed mortality risk by 40%. And it is easy to track your steps with a smartphone that has a built-in health app to count steps automatically. Or you can purchase the StepsApp Pedometer that has more bells and whistles to track your progress and set goals. There are also simple and inexpensive pedometers to help you calculate steps.
Walking strengthens your heart, improves bone density, relaxes your mind, and helps with muscle-building, says Axios. Experts at Harvard Medical School say that walking has been scientifically shown to reduce certain forms of cancer, fight obesity and ease joint pain. Walking also boosts immune function which is excellent news during the current coronavirus situation.
“It’s the closest thing we have to a wonder drug,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, former director for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The beauty about adding a walking program to boost longevity is that it is accessible to most people both indoors and outside when the weather permits. Start with 30 minutes daily and work your way up.
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