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Sunrise Senior Living Blog

Sunrise Senior Living Blog

20 Minute Exercise 'Key To A Long Life'

Exercise proves crucial to a long life It's a known fact that exercise keeps a body strong and healthy. However, a recent study performed by the University of Cambridge found that a simple 20 minute walk each day has the potential to dramatically lower your risk of early death.

The results of the study were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 

Exercise crucial to a long life

To determine a person's risk of early death, the researchers examined data from 334,161 European men and women who were participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Study. Each participant's weight, height and waste circumference was measured. Self-assessment was then used to calculate their levels of physical activity. 

After thorough testing, the results showed that the most significant decrease in the risk of premature death was seen during the comparison between completely inactive participants and moderately inactive groups. The risk was measured by combining the activity at work with recreational activity. Less than 22.7 per cent of the subjects were placed in the inactive category. These people reported no physical activity and a sedentary job. 

The findings implied that going for a short walk every day, or doing any form of activity that burns between 90 and 100 calories, would reduce a person's risk of premature death from between 16 to 30 per cent. Both overweight and normal weight participants saw the benefits of exercise. 

A healthy lifestyle

Professor Nick Wareham, director of the Medical Research Council in the Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge, noted that assisting people in losing weight can be extremely difficult, but public health interventions that push people to take small steps toward a more active life have significant advantages. They are often the most effective way to reach and encourage people. 

"This is a simple message - just a small amount of physical activity each day could have substantial health benefits for people who are physically inactive. Although we found that just 20 minutes would make a difference, we should really be looking to do more than this - physical activity has many proven health benefits and should be an important part of our daily life," said the lead author of the study, Professor Ulf Ekelund.  

At Sunrise Senior Living, the benefits of exercise for older people are evident in the company's 27 assisted living care homes in the UK. A regular programme of at least five optional activities each day, includes such choices as Tai Chi and seated yoga. To learn more about how we can help or to find a location near you, contact us today. 

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