According to a recently released study, a mere 10 minutes of exercise each day provides outsize benefits to adults over 40.
In the United States alone, more than 110,000 deaths could be prevented each year if adults over age 40 added just 10 minutes of daily moderate to vigorous physical activity to their normal routines, according to the study published in late January in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
According to CNN, the study used accelerator data the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey recorded from participants ages 6 and older between 2003 and 2006. Researchers then analysed the activity levels of nearly 5,000 participants ages 40 to 85 and tracked death rates through the end of 2015.
“We know exercise is good for us. This study provides additional evidence of the benefits at the population level: if all adults in the United States (over age 40) were to exercise just a bit more each day, a large number of deaths could be prevented each year,” said Pedro Saint-Maurice, the study’s first author and an epidemiologist at the National Cancer Institute, via email.
An increase to 20 or 30 minutes of exercise could lead to even more lives being saved, the study explained.
That’s not just good advice for Americans, either. A National Health Survey conducted in 2019 revealed that 50% of Malaysians are either overweight or obese, leading all countries in Southeast Asia.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin in November 2021 said Malaysia was an “unhealthy country,” citing issues with obesity, heart disease, poor eating habits, and a lack of physical activity.
HOW TO ADD THOSE 10 MINUTES
Daily exercise is not just for gym rats, according to Dana Santas, a CNN fitness contributor and mind-body coach for professional athletes. “Fitting in 10 minutes of exercise every day is so much easier than people think. Consider how fast 10 minutes goes by when you’re mindlessly scrolling social media or watching your favourite TV show,” Santas said in an email. “[Adding 10 minutes of exercise] is not a big time investment, but it can deliver big health benefits.”
Walking outside or on a treadmill is one of the best and simplest ways to bring consistent physical activity into your life, Santas said.
Another at-home activity with a low cost of entry: body weight exercises. With no equipment, it is easy to get in four rounds of three-minute body weight exercises – and you get an extra two minutes of benefit. The key is finding a sequence of movements that will moderately work out your full body, balancing upper body strength, lower body strength, and cardiovascular exercise, like 10 to 25 push-ups, 25 to 40 squats, and a minute of jogging in place, Santas said.
You can also crank up the tunes and dance it out, experts say, or work the routine into basic house cleaning chores! Just three or four songs is enough to get in the mini-workout you need.
The takeaway? Exercise doesn’t have to be gruelling or miserable to be effective, and just bumping up your daily routine a little bit can yield big results.
Reports from CNN and the World Health Organization contributed to this article.
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