The Surprising Impact of a 10-Minute Workout on Adults Over 40


Finding 10 spare minutes in your day for physical activity could mean the difference between life and death, according to a new study.

More than 110,000 deaths in the United States can be prevented each year if adults over 40 get 10 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily as part of their normal routine.

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This is revealed by the study published Monday in the journal JAMA internal medicinewhich noted that an increase of 20 to 30 minutes could save even more lives.

“We know exercise is good for us. This study provides further evidence of population-level benefits: If all adults in the United States (over 40) exercised a little more each day, a large number of deaths could be prevented each year,” Pedro Saint-Maurice, the study’s first author and epidemiologist at the National Cancer Institute, told CNN via email.

The study used National Health and Nutrition Survey acceleration data recorded from participants aged six and older between 2003 and 2006.

A member of the public runs along the South Perth foreshore. File picture. Credit: AAP

The researchers then analyzed the activity levels of nearly 5,000 participants between the ages of 40 and 85 and tracked death rates through the end of 2015.

The method used to conduct the study was rigorous, said Peter Katzmarzyk, professor of pediatric obesity and associate executive director for population and public health sciences at Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

“We have previously reported that even a little exercise can have health benefits,” said Professor Saint-Maurice.

“This study does not focus on benefits for individuals, but rather at the population level. We can make our nation healthier by encouraging everyone to add 10 or more extra minutes of activity every day.

If you can, take a walk in nature - take a walk in your local park, by a lake or river.
If you can, take a walk in nature – take a walk in your local park, by a lake or river. Credit: Stevica Mrdja / EyeEm/Getty Images/EyeEm

Get your 10 minutes

Daily exercise isn’t just for gym junkies, according to Dana Santas, mind-body coach for professional athletes.

“Exercising 10 minutes a day is so much easier than people think. Consider how quickly 10 minutes go by when you mindlessly scroll through social media or watch your favorite TV show,” Ms Santas said.

“It’s not a big time investment, but it can have great health benefits.”

Walking outdoors or on a treadmill is one of the best and easiest ways to introduce constant physical activity into your life, she said.

Walking can be great for your mental health as well as your physical health.
Walking can be great for your mental health as well as your physical health. Credit: ola_p/Getty Images

Additionally, yoga, for those into it and those less into it, is another great option, with the added benefits of stress relief and easy online access to all levels of instruction.

Ms. Santas says another home activity with a low cost of entry is bodyweight exercises.

Without equipment, it’s easy to do four sets of three-minute bodyweight exercises — and you get an extra two minutes of benefit.

The key is to find a sequence of movements that will exercise your whole body moderately – balancing upper body strength, lower body strength and cardiovascular exercise – including 10 to 25 push-ups, the same number of squats and a minute jogging in place, she added.

And if in doubt, you can always do a little boogie.

Listening to some of your favorite songs and dancing in your kitchen or inviting family and friends to the living room is an exercise that feels more like a celebration.

It only takes three or four songs to get you to your 10-minute goal, Santas said, but no one will blame you if you can’t stop there.

Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to be effective, and stepping up your routine a little can have huge impacts, experts said.

– With CNN


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