It sometimes feels like if you want to truly make a difference in your health, you need to hit the gym every day or make every workout as intense as possible. But new research suggests that simply walking more can have a real impact on lifespan. In fact, people in the study who walked just 150 minutes a week or more had a 20% lower risk of premature death, compared to those who walked less.
Even for people who didn’t meet those 150 recommended minutes of activity per week, walking at least a little bit was still better than getting no exercise at all, found the American Journal of Preventive Medicine study.
Lead author Alpa Patel, a researcher with the American Cancer Society, says the study is good news for anyone who worries that walking doesn’t count as exercise. “In our study, close to 95% of people who engaged in any physical activity did some walking—but for half of those people, walking was the only moderate to vigorous exercise they got,” she says. “Now we can see that it really does have real benefits.”
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