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More Reasons to Hike: Walking 11 Minutes a Day Could Keep You From Dying Young

According to a sweeping new study on the effects of exercise on longevity, just 11 minutes of walking per day could be enough to dramatically lower your likelihood of dying young.

The study, which was conducted by an international team of scientists and recently published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, looked at the habits of more than 44,000 people. It followed these participants for anywhere from 4 to 14.5 years and examined the relationships between their exercise habits and their health outcomes.

As you might expect, the people who exercised regularly tended to live longer; sedentary people were more likely to die suddenly or prematurely than those who walked or ran daily. But the interesting thing is that longevity wasn’t necessarily linked to enormous amounts of exercise. Researchers discovered that those with the best outcomes were those who spent just 35 minutes exercising per day.

More good news: you don’t even have to hit that 35-minute mark to dramatically lower your risk of premature death. Researchers found that even those who spent just 11 minutes per day doing moderate exercise had much better health outcomes than those who didn’t exercise at all.

Image by Dougal Waters/Getty

Doing anything for just 11 minutes per day might not seem like a lot. But in this case, the researchers concluded that it appeared to be enough to counteract most of the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle, reports The New York Times.

There have been a number of studies on the relationship between exercise and longevity. However, this study is unique in that all the participants were equipped with fitness trackers. In past studies, researchers relied on participants to be honest about their exercise habits, which even the most dedicated study participants are notoriously bad at.

While this study didn’t look at the effects of exercising outdoors versus indoors, a number of other studies suggest that spending time outdoors can help improve mental health and even improve immune function when compared to time spent indoors. People who exercise outdoors are also more likely to exercise longer and work out harder than those who hit the gym. Outdoor exercise has also been linked to better sleep and lower anxiety.

So, if you’re hoping to implement a short daily walk into your routine, we recommend hitting the greenway or trail instead of the treadmill. You’ll reap the benefits of the exercise and the benefits of nature time—all in just 11 minutes per day.

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  1. Stephanie M Bashore

    Just discovered Outdoors today! Looking forward to more articles and information.

  2. Pingback: Some People Are Genetically Predisposed to Hate Exercise. Here’s Why You Should Do It Anyway – Outdoors.com

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