You don’t have to run marathons to reap the benefits. Even moderate exercise can have a significant impact on your long-term wellness.
A new study, published in the Journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, followed almost 4,400 middle-aged and older adults for an average of nine years. Participants were categorized into five groups based on their level of fitness. Not surprisingly, the very fittest group experienced better health outcomes.
But here’s the interesting part: When researchers compared the bottom two tiers (the least fit group and the next-lowest group), they found that those in the lowest tier were twice as likely to die over the course of the study as their slightly-more-fit counterparts.
The lesson is that it’s OK to start small–but do something! If you can fit in 30 minutes of moderate activity five or more days a week (the minimum recommended amount of exercise), that’s great. But even small amounts of activity can make a difference.
Why not organize a group of your coworkers to take a brisk walk around the block during lunch two or three times a week? It just might save someones life.