It can be tough to get enough exercise. If you’re an office worker you know how paradoxically draining it can be to sit at a desk all day. And who has time? Most likely there are countless things vying for your time and attention.
In reality, though, staying fit may not be as challenging as you’re making it out to be. And, it has the weird effect of making people feel mentally as if they’re wealthier. Here’s what several recent studies have to say on the subject.
Fast walkers live longer
If you find yourself getting annoyed when you get stuck in a hallway or on a sidewalk behind slow walkers, take heart. Researchers in the U.K. studied data regarding 474,919 people and found that people who habitually walk fast live longer than those who amble along slowly. The findings are remarkable considering weight or waist circumference wasn’t found to play into longevity, meaning even bigger people who walked faster had a higher life expectancy. In fact, the people most likely to die: underweight people who walk slowly.
10,000 steps a day is overkill
Most everybody is familiar with the concept of walking 10,000 steps a day to stay healthy. But according to researcher I-Min Lee of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, that large number came from a marketing campaign for a pedometer, not actual science. She and her colleagues asked 17,000 women with an average age of 72 to wear devices to track their steps, then analyzed how many steps most correlated with longevity. Ten thousand wasn’t anywhere in the mix. The participants who took about 4,000 steps in a day were around 40 percent less likely to die, compared with those who only took 2,700 steps. And, they found no increase in life span for women who walked more than 7,500 steps, which turns out to be the ceiling when it comes to reaping the benefits of walking.
Exercise makes you feel better than having money
There’s a reason successful people tend to cite exercise as a daily habit they practice. In addition to helping to maintain a strong body, exercise is good for the mind. According to researchers at Yale and Oxford, people who are physically active feel better mentally, compared with sedentary individuals. They analyzed data regarding more than 1.2 million adults in the U.S. and found that people who don’t exercise or play sports regularly feel mentally unwell 18 days more often in a year compared with people who are active. And get this - people who get their heart rates up and move their bodies feel mentally on par with people who don’t exercise, but make around $25,000 more annually.