All this week, we’ve been talking about some surprising factors that impact longevity—such as becoming a more conscientious person (which means being mindful about your health, diet, and activity levels) and staying socially engaged.
Today, I’m revealing how one simple “habit” can help prevent premature death.
In fact, if everyone took up this habit, it would prevent nearly 4 million early deaths worldwide, each year!
Imagine what this could mean for yourself (and those close to you)!
Here’s what you need to know…
Lives saved vs. lives lost
Most studies on physical activity and longevity focus on the negative association between the two. In other words, they show how inactivity (or sedentary behavior) can lead to death.
However, for this new study, researchers at the University of Cambridge and University of Edinburgh took a unique approach and estimated how many lives physical activity can SAVE each year.
First, they analyzed previously published data from 168 countries on physical activity and all-cause mortality (death from any cause).
They noted that some countries did better when it came to achieving the recommended target of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. For example:
- 33 percent of people in Kuwait met the recommended target;
- 64 percent in the U.K.; and
- 94 percent in Mozambique.
Ultimately, the researchers concluded that physical activity had a HUGE impact on premature death rates.
In fact, they found that physical activity (of 150 minutes per week) CUT premature deaths globally by 15 percent, on average. Put a different way, that translates to SAVING 3.9 MILLION LIVES per year, globally. (In the U.S., specifically, it saves 140,200 lives each year.)
So, the big question is, what can YOU do to take advantage of this simple “habit” and lower your risk of dying prematurely?
Ten tips to get moving during the week
As I often report, you don’t (and SHOULDN’T) need to pound away on the treadmill at an indoor gym to achieve your physical activity goals.
Instead, look for things you can do around the house and yard. Because even pulling weeds and raking leaves for spring count toward your weekly total.
(I tell you more about the health benefits of yardwork and “spring cleaning” in the current issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter [“Sweeping the floor and making the bed helps increase longevity and improve cognition!?”] Not yet a subscriber? Click here to become one—you won’t want to miss this special report!)
Here are some other suggestions for getting moving during the week:
- Go for a daily walk or hike in Nature.
- Take a bike ride, preferably on safe, natural trails, which are easier on your joints.
- Do some yoga or stretching exercises to support your joints, muscles, and circulation.
- Take a swim in a natural body of water, once the temperatures warm up, or at an indoor pool.
- Take a dance class.
- Play outside with your grandkids.
- Park at the far end of parking lots.
- Take the stairs, instead of the elevator, to your destination.
- Plan a “walking meeting” with colleagues, family, or friends.
- Rearrange the furniture in your house and make your bed daily.
Just remember to aim for 140 to 150 minutes of movement each week, which breaks down to about 20 minutes each day. And as my 10 tips reveal, achieving this target can be quite simple…and FUN!