Want to Add Seven Years to Your Life? Start Walking!

A small study presented at the European Society of Cardiology found that subjects who engaged in a brisk walk experienced anti-aging benefits and saw a three to seven year increase in lifespan.

Why is walking so powerful? Because when you’re walking you can’t be sitting, which the average American does nine to ten hours a day. Sitting for more than eight hours is associated with a 90 percent increase in Type II Diabetes. Research even shows that getting up and moving for two minutes every hour can increase lifespan by 33 percent. Study after study proves the benefits of moving not only on physical health, but also for improved mood and better sleep.

Many of us use the excuse of lack of time to justify not exercising, but according to Dr. Carol Biddington, a professor in NCU’s School of Education, it’s easy to “sneak” more walking into your daily routine.

“Instead of finding a parking space close to stores when shopping, park at a distance to the entrance for the opportunity to walk,” said Dr. Biddington. “Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs.”

Simple tips, but they can make a world of difference. The goal is to get at least 10,000 steps in per day and wearing a pedometer or using a Fitbit is a great way to track your steps.

Here are 10 more ways you can sneak in more steps:

  1. How many times do you use the restroom at work? Instead of picking the one down the hall, use the one a floor up. Don’t even think of using the elevator to get there!
  2. If you take public transportation to work, get off one stop early and walk the rest of the way.
  3. Take an after-dinner stroll around the neighborhood with your family instead of laying on the couch watching TV.
  4. If you’re early for a meeting, walk around the block instead of sitting in a waiting room.
  5. Wander around the room when you’re on the phone, brushing your teeth, or combing your hair.
  6. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you each hour to get up and move for at least two minutes.
  7. Do an extra loop around the grocery store.
  8. Watch TV or read a book on the treadmill.
  9. Walk between stores in an outdoor mall instead of re-parking your car.
  10. Walk the kids to school.

The bottom line? To add more years to your life, MOVE!