It is well-known that physical activity has a direct, positive effect on an individual's physical and emotional health. In recent years there have been numerous research studies designed to quantify and qualify the ways in which exercise decreases an individual's risk of mortality and determine the amount and intensity of physical activity required to have these positive effects.
Several years ago, it was reported that 30 minutes of physical activity three or four times a week directly lowered the risk for a variety of illnesses and diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression and cancer. But the truly striking result of this research was that it made no difference regarding an individual's decrease in their risk of mortality whether an individual worked out for 30 minutes straight or worked out 3 times a day for 10 minutes at a time.
This research was both surprising and important. To have the discipline to exercise for 30 minutes straight requires commitment. But a 10 minute walk? Not so much.
Now, new research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine reveals an even more astounding result. The scientists showed conclusively that even low-level, leisurely physical activity, such as walking or gardening, protects both cognitive function and cardiovascular health.
More importantly, the researchers confirmed that individuals who engaged in any leisurely activity for at least one 10 minute session a week had an 18% lower risk of death from all causes. This was an astounding result, as requires neither vigorous activity nor a large investment of time.
It was true, however, that as the amount of time and the intensity of the activities increase, overall mortality rate decline further. People who engage in leisurely physical activities for 150 minutes a week lowered their overall risk of death by 31%. And those involved in physical activity for 1500 minutes or more per week saw their overall risk of mortality declined by more than 46%.
The researchers also noted that when given the choice of more time or more vigorous exercise, the statistics clearly indicated that more intense physical exercise caused a greater reduction of mortality, as well as a series of other positive physical and emotional benefits.
The good news for us is that however sedentary we might be, it is difficult to say that we cannot find 10 minutes a week to take a leisurely walk or do some pleasant physical activity. To add to this good news is the fact that once a person begins with 10 minutes of physical activity a week, they will find that within a month it will be easy to add more.
And finding more leisurely activities is itself a fun activity that will improve both our physical life and the pleasure we derive from life. We just need to find an activity we enjoy, whether it’s dancing slowly to a song we like, planting a garden, or going window shopping are all easy and pleasant.
At the Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers, we offer the very best of care in the most appropriate and patient-centered environment. This means always listening to our residents and patients and respecting their capabilities, while helping them to achieve maximum functionality and independence. And always maintaining the highest professional and quality standards in our staff and our facilities. Our 25 years of excellent care have led to us being awarded a Best Nursing Homes award by US News & World Today, a 5-Star rating by USA Today, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, among many other awards.
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