It’s good news for the fast walkers among us — the research suggests a daily brisk walk could considerably reduce your chance of dying early and you can do it under 10 minutes.
Keeping up a regular walking or jogging schedule is tough work. It’s made tougher by the fact that we’re in the middle of a pandemic and many of us are restricted to our homes. Sometimes, even if you’re not actually restricted, leaving that comfort can be a big ask.
Thankfully, there’s good news on how to make it all a bit more manageable.
New research from Cambridge University, which used data from the fitness trackers of nearly 100,000 people in the UK, found that it was the intensity of your exercise regime that was more important rather than the time you allocated to it.
The data of the participants, of which the mean age was 62 years and 56 per cent were female, was analaysed and followed up over an average period of 3.1 years. It found there was a higher rate of mortality among those who had fitness data showing a less vigorous exercise routine.
Perhaps most useful for everyone was exactly what a more vigorous exercise routine would look like in real life.
The paper suggested an incorporation of two minutes of brisk walking into a 35-minute stroll would work to lower your chance of an early death by 21 per cent. If you were more time poor or wanted to knock out your exercise quickly then a seven-minute brisk walk would be better than a 12-minute stroll. Doing that every day would lower your chance of early death by an estimated 30 per cent.
Yes, just seven minutes of power walking will do.
The research admitted it was limited and couldn’t make firm conclusions due to the fact that it was an observational study. Still, the data suggests if you’re a speedy but concise walker, you might be on the right track.
“This is the first study to show that intensity plays a role in the prospective association between physical activity and all-cause mortality, over and above total volume of activity,” the paper read.
“This is important as different strategies of behavior change may be more appealing or practical to different individuals.”
They’re certainly right on that last point — a 10-minute brisk stroll is far more appealing in these times.
This study, of course, only details the movement data and is not taking into account other factors such as diet and lifestyle. For those hoping to eat junk food all day, a seven-minute daily walk won’t be a magic pill.