10 minutes of brisk walking for longevity is all you need

northNow that the 10,000 steps a day myth has been officially debunked as the benchmark for improving your fitness (TL;DR: There’s not a lot of solid science behind that figure and honestly it depends on what it means to be “in way” for you), many of us are left wondering: How many steps a day do do we really need to drink to be healthy? Well, when it comes to living longer, we have a better idea, thanks to a recent study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, which looked at how power walking for longevity can be beneficial.

The massive study followed 47,000 participants over the course of seven years and sought to explore how power walking influenced death rates using accelerometers – devices that measure changes in speed – to track physical activity. Of the people studied, 53 percent were women and, among other findings, the study revealed a important an idea of ​​how far you need to walk to reap the benefits of longevity.

Drum roll please: Research indicated that if everyone started walking an extra 10 minutes a day, we could prevent more than 111,000 deaths each year. Which means that, in theory, if you’re not walking right now, just 10 minutes is enough to start extending its lifespan. And if you already spend time walking, you’ll need to add an extra 10 minutes at a faster pace to reap the rewards.

Additionally, increasing moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity by 10, 20, or 30 minutes per day was associated with a 6.9%, 13%, and 16.9% decrease in the number of deaths per year, respectively. This suggests that even those short half-hour walks for lunch can go a long way when it comes to your health and well-being.

As a review, as Eli Friedman, MD, director of sports medicine cardiology at Baptist Health’s Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, previously told Well+Good: “Brisk walking is similar to normal walking, but you do it with more intensity and at a faster pace. In other words, the number of strides per minute will increase and there may be more use of the upper body, specifically the arms, to propel the body forward. One may find that their breathing is harder and their heart rate is faster with power walking.” .

However, for those of you still looking for an exact step count, here’s the deal: “For adults aged 60 and over, between 6,000 and 8,000 steps per day had the greatest effect in decreasing mortality, and for adults under 60, the range was 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day,” writes functional medicine physician Mark Hyman, MD, in an Instagram post based on the research. For context, each mile consists of about 2,250 steps, so you would have to walk about three miles to hit the target. (Meanwhile, 10,000 steps is about five miles.)

Therefore, those for whom longevity is a primary fitness goal should ideally walk up to that number of steps daily to increase their lifespan as much as possible. But even if not, every minute literally counts, so adding an extra 10 to your walk, as long as they’re vigorous, is still a great way to pay back your future self.

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