There’s a new study conducted in South Korea, and the news will make you want to put on your sneakers and get some steps. Research shows that walking for an hour each week – about 9 minutes each day – appears to increase longevity in people aged 85 and over. Correctly! If you want to be a centenarian, you’ll want to get off the couch and start walking as soon as possible. Read on to learn more about this encouraging study.
There are certain fitness guidelines to follow, even though it is common to become sedentary as you age and activity decreases.
In terms of general health and fitness guidelines for adults, it’s recommended that you get 2.5 hours of moderately vigorous physical activity or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous exercise each week (along with two or more days of muscle-strengthening exercise). Instead, it’s incredibly common to become sedentary as you age and activity declines.
Related: Lifestyle Habits That Slow Aging, From a 100-Year-Old Neurologist
This new study shows that walking can lead to longevity.
The author of the recent study, Dr Moo-Nyun Jin of Inje Sanggye Paik University Hospital, explains: “Adults are less likely to meet activity recommendations as they get older. Our study shows that walking at least one hour each week is beneficial for people age 85 and older. Simply put, walk for 10 minutes every day.”
Researchers looked at the data of more than 7,000 adults over the age of 85 (average 87 and 2/3 women), to learn how walking can lead to longevity. The records included information on participants from the Korean National Health Inspection Program over a five-year period.
Participants answered questions about the physical activity they do in their free time. The research questioned how much time each person spent walking at a leisurely pace, how much time they spent performing moderate-intensity activities such as brisk walking or cycling, and the extent of vigorous exercise such as running.
The group was divided into five sections based on how long the subjects walked leisurely each week. More than half (57.5%) of subjects did not do leisurely walking. The breakdown was as follows: 8.5% walked for less than 60 minutes, 12% walked for one to two hours, 8.7% walked for two to three hours, and 13.3% walked for more than three hours each week. About 14.7% (one in seven) participants did moderately vigorous exercise, 10.9% did vigorous physical activity, and 7.6% did the general recommendations for moderate/vigorous physical activity. 33% of the group (999 participants) who walked at a leisurely pace each week also did moderate/vigorous exercise.
Walking every week can reduce the risk of death by up to 40%.
The study includes the relationships between walking and death. Participants who walked at least one hour each week had a 39% to 40% reduced risk of death. So if you want to become a centenarian and extend your life span, we strongly suggest you put on your sneakers and take these steps.
Dr. Jin points out, “Walking was associated with a lower chance of death in older adults, regardless of whether or not they did any moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Determining the minimum amount of exercise that can benefit older adults is an important goal given that recommended activity levels can be difficult to achieve. Our study shows that walking for even one hour each week is beneficial for people aged 85 and over compared to being completely inactive.”
Related: The 5 Best Exercises to Lose Belly Fat and Slow Aging, Says Fitness Expert
If you want to be a centenarian, you should eat like one.
If you want to be a centenarian, it’s safe to say that exercise is key – science says so. You can also take notes on the healthy eating habits of the world’s longest living people who inhabit the Earth’s “Blue Zones”. The Blue Zones Dietary Guidelines include making sure 95% of your food is plant-based, staying away from meat (eating it no more than twice a week), consuming up to three ounces of fish on a daily basis, eating at least 1/2 cup cooked beans every day and cut dairy out of your diet.