I love when I get to tell you “less is more.”
And that can often be true with exercise. After all, moving in short spurts is better than leading a sedentary life, any way you slice it.
But what I don’t love is how the mainstream media bombards us with all of the WRONG points.
I mean, there are plenty of worse health myths out there they could focus on—ones that’s actually do damage to our health—instead of emphasizing you DON’T have to take 10,000 steps daily.
Now, before you get too worked up…
Yes, I’ve written before about how that step count may be over exaggerated when it comes to health benefits. And yes, that IS great news for many people.
However, I would NEVER encourage you to move less. And that, unfortunately, seems to be the biggest takeaway from the mainstream.
Well, finally, a recent report offers more well-rounded advice…
Slash your death risk
According to a new study, taking 8,000 steps for just one or two days each week significantly lessens risk of all-cause and cardiovascular-related mortality (death).
Researchers analyzed data from just over 3,000 adults aged 20 years and older who were part of the 2005 and 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
After a 10-year follow up period, they found this amount of exercise reduced all-cause mortality risk by nearly 15 percent!
Not only that, but—and this is the point that’s often overlooked—mortality risk continued to drop as the number of exercise days increased.
In fact, researchers concluded that reaching exercise goals for three to seven days a week offered a 16.5 percent reduction in both all-cause and cardiovascular-related death risk.
This held true for participants hitting anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 steps!
Plus—those who took 8,000 steps one to two days per week slashed cardiovascular-related death risk by 8.1 percent. That protection grew to 8.4 percent when reaching the same exercise goal for three days or more each week.
Reach for the stars
At the end of the day, I don’t think asking people to be a little aspirational is a bad idea. But the media tends to disagree.
Or maybe they’re just playing into America’s love of laziness?!?
Regardless of the “why,” here’s what we know…
Moving your body more often than not IS going to improve your health and longevity. And that point should never be overshadowed—even when it’s tempting to move less.
I mean, if you’re able to reach higher exercise goals and there’s no reason to stop, health- or mobility-wise? I encourage you to keep at it!
But for those of you who get overwhelmed by weekly exercise recommendations, allow these results to motivate you. After all, this part is always true: Every little bit helps.
And trust me, hitting 8,000 steps one to two days per week isn’t as hard as it seems.
The first step is, well, literally taking that first step. Then, reach for the stars! Because who knows what you’ll be able to achieve in a few months to a year from now!
P.S. Once you start walking frequently, gradually increase the intensity. After all, this research reveals how walking faster can decrease your risk of major cardiovascular events!
“Walking 8,000 steps just 1-2 days a week linked to significant health benefits.” Medical News Today, 04/02/2023. (medicalnewstoday.com/articles/brisk-walking-1-to-2-days-a-week-reduce-all-cause-cardiovascular-mortality)