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Even five minuts of walking cuts your risk of early death

Even five minutes of walking a day can reduce the risk of an early death, according to a new study.

The study, from the American Cancer Society, found that those who engaged in even minimal physical activity were less likely to die early than those who reported no moderate to vigorous physical activity.

Public health guidelines suggest that adults spend at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week, but only about half of Americans meet this baseline.

The study found that walking in particular, even if done less than the recommended amount, was linked to lower risks of dying from cancer and respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

Get your walk on: Any amount of weekly walking reduces the risk of a premature death compared to no exercise at all, according to a new study 

There is plenty of research to support the benefits of weekly moderate to vigorous physical activity, but this study is one of few to focus specifically on walking’s effects on health and life expectancy.

The study’s lead author, Dr Alpa Patel, notes that particular attention to walking as a form of exercise is important because it’s so accessible.

‘Walking has been described as the “perfect exercise” because it is simple, free, convenient, doesn’t require any special equipment or training, and can be done at any age,’ he said in a press release.

On average, Americans fall far short of the often-cited golden number of 10,000 steps a day. The average American walks less than half that much, according to a Stanford University study done earlier this year.

Walking 10,000 steps a day would equate to about five miles. In the US, where many people drive to and from work, this number may be ambitious. This is particularly true for older Americans.

The new American Cancer Society study found that only 42 percent of Americans between 65 and 74 years old got the recommended amount of exercise, and only 28 percent of those 75 or older were doing enough physical activity.

The study analyzed data from nearly 140,000 people whose collective average age was around 70 years old. Even those that walked less than the recommended amount each week fared better than those that didn’t walk at all.

Walking was associated with the greatest reduction in risk with deaths related to respiratory disease. Those that did no other exercises, but walked for more than six hours a week were 35 percent less likely to die early of a respiratory disease.

The risk of premature death from cancer was nine percent lower for walkers, and reduced by 20 percent for cardiovascular disease.

The study’s authors underscored the importance of walking as a health prerogative for our aging society.

‘With the near doubling of adults aged 65 and older expected by 2030, clinicians should encourage patients to walk even if less than the recommended amount, especially as they age, for health and longevity,’ said Dr Patel. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk