Without a doubt, exercise – moving your body with the intention to improve health and fitness – should be part of everyone’s lifestyle. But with all the different options and fads, which is the best exercise for achieving healthy longevity?
Blue Zone Advice
According to Blue Zones expert Dan Buettner, the best exercise to support healthy longevity is…walking. Buttner has observed in Blue Zones how regular movement is part of the lifestyle and culture. According to Buettner, while people in the Blue Zones don’t go to the gym or take exercise classes, they do move every 20 minutes. Their lifestyle keeps them moving as opposed to sitting.
In fact, according to a 2022 study, “one hour of walking per week is associated with greater longevity in people aged 85 years and above.” That means that as little as 10 minutes per day of walking – every day – results in greater longevity. How is that possible? In those 10 minutes you are building cardiovascular endurance, which increases longevity.
If you want to push past 10 minutes a day, there are varying schools of thought. While many believe that 10,000 steps per day achieves optimal health, recent studies show that taking as little as 4,400 steps a day could reduce mortality in older women.
While the number of ideal steps per day may be undecided, adding walking to your healthy longevity lifestyle is undeniably a good idea. Here’s just a few reasons why.
- Exercising uses approximately 200 muscles.
- A UC San Diego Health study found that walking three times or more every week for a half hour saved $330 annually in health care costs.
- According to the CDC, walking can lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers.
- Researchers at Harvard found that a 15 minute walk reduces cravings for sweets!
- Harvard researchers also found that people walking a minimum of 20 minutes, five days a week had 43% fewer sick days than people who exercised once a week or less.
And this is just a small fraction of the benefits of walking! Clearly, that’s why walking is the most popular form of exercise. CDC statistics say that six out of 10 Americans report walking at least once a week.
It’s something everyone can do at their own pace, alone or in a group, in a city or in nature. You can listen to music, engage in “walking meditation,” or chat with friends. The only rule for walking is to start!
Your Longevity Journey
Want to make your walking that much more enjoyable and beneficial? Make sure you are keeping your spine and nervous system healthy!
Start your walking journey, and your 100 Year Lifestyle – living at 100% for 100 years or more – with the help and guidance of a 100 Year Lifestyle provider near you. Find one near you!