They say any amount of walking is better than none at all. While that's true, a major health improvement requires more than the occasional five-minute stroll. So how much is enough? Here's what the experts think.
Australian physical activity guidelines recommend that healthy adults do a minimum of 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity per week. However, that's easier said than done when you're already out of shape.
Fortunately, it turns out that simply increasing the duration of your daily walks - without any additional exercise - can do a surprising amount of good. (It's also nearly as healthy as running.)
How long you should walk for
According to new scientific research, an average adult should spend at least 22 minutes walking per day. This works out to 150 minutes per week - which is enough to significantly transform your health.
In a 13-year study of older adults consisting of 62,178 men and 77,077 women, participants who walked at least 150 minutes per week were about 20% less likely to die than their inactive counterparts.
As the study concludes: "walking [is] the 'perfect exercise' because it is a simple action that is free, convenient, does not require any special equipment or training, and can be done at any age."
There are many ways to improve your walking regime and get the health benefits faster: you could try joining a walking group, use these psychological tricks to go on longer walks and eventually graduate to 'racewalking'. Or best of all, adopt a dog!
If you're serious about fitness, you will want to introduce some form of body-weight or gym-based resistance training exercise further down the track. But as a starting point, a daily 22-minute walk is a great way to improve your flexibility, aerobic fitness levels and estimated lifespan. Start today.
Zero exercise is not enough. Going for a walk every day is probably a good thing. And if you're training for a marathon, you'll be on your feet for a couple hours of hard workouts every week. But what is the benchmark for a human being just trying to squeeze enough healthy exercise into their life? Let's break it down.
We will leave you with the following video, without comment:
[Via Business Insider]
This story has been updated since its original publication.