You know that brisk walk to the shops and back? It’s about 10 minutes each way and you don’t know if you can be bothered to make the trip.
Well, that one short stroll could save your from an early death, new research by Cambridge University shows.
In fact, as many as one in 10 early deaths could be prevented if everyone managed at least half the recommended level of physical activity.
While UK guidelines tell people to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week, just an 11-minute brisk walk each day could be enough to save you from some serious health complications.
Risks of diseases such as heart disease, strokes – which were responsible for 17.9 million deaths per year in 2019 – and various cancers are all reduced with this simple short walk.
It’s not even a quarter of an hour out of your day compared to years added on to your life.
This easy lifestyle change was also noted in an earlier study in January, so you really should give it a go.
By accumulating studies with a total of over 30 million participants, the latest Cambridge research found that just 75 minutes of exercise a week can reduce the risk of cancer by 7%.
It was also enough to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 17%.
For certain cancers, the reduction in risk was even bigger. Head and neck, myeloid leukaemia, myeloma, and gastric cardia cancers were between 14-26% lower risk.
Lung, liver, endometrial, colon, and breast cancer also saw a 3-11% lower risk.
Professor James Woodcock from the MRC Epidemiology Unit said: ‘We know that physical activity, such as walking or cycling, is good for you, especially if you feel it raises your heart rate.
‘But what we’ve found is there are substantial benefits to heart health and reducing your risk of cancer even if you can only manage 10 minutes every day.’
It goes without saying that doing the recommended 150 minutes per week is more beneficial than just 75 minutes.
Around one in six early deaths would be prevented with the two plus hours of exercise, while 11% of cases of cardiovascular disease and 5% of cases of cancer would be avoided.
So what are you waiting for, boots were made for walking.
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