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A new study suggests short walks and workouts are related to a longer lifespan.

As experts understand more about our bodies, new research pops up and provides supporting evidence. A new study discovered that short spurts of movement, like walking up and down the stairs or walking your dog for a little longer than usual, may lead to a longer life.

This information was presented at the 2021 American Heart Association’s Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle & Cardiometabolic Health Conference. This meet-up offers the latest scientific developments on health and wellness and its implications on people’s lives. The data presented was gathered through step tracking apps and wearables, which monitored the progress of thousands of women from 2011-2015.

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“Technological advances made in recent decades have allowed researchers to measure short spurts of activity. Whereas, in the past we were limited to only measuring activities people could recall on a questionnaire,” explained lead study author Christopher C. Moore, M.S. “With the help of wearable devices, more research is indicating that any type of movement is better than remaining sedentary.”

According to researchers, “Study participants who took more steps in short spurts lived longer, regardless of how many steps they had in longer, uninterrupted bouts. The benefits leveled off at about 4,500 steps per day in short spurts. Compared to no daily steps, each initial increase of 1,000 steps per day was associated with a 28% decrease in death during the follow-up period.”

Like plenty of new studies and approaches to fitness, this information shows that small changes like parking your car further away from your destination or ensuring that you walk a little bit every day make a significant impact. This knowledge can help in changing the way people approach fitness, making it more accessible, like it’s something that anyone can do, no matter how busy their days are or whether they consider themselves athletic or not.

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“It doesn’t necessarily need to be something planned or that you make time for,” cardiologist Dr. Seth Martin told Today. “It can be attained just by living life, taking the stairs, walking further distances to the car. It all adds up during the day. It’s surprising sometimes how quickly steps add up, a little here and a little there.”

Recommendations and guidelines for workouts can be demoralizing, interpreted as indicators of you doing something wrong. Studies like this show that, at the end of the day, what matters is that you move.

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