This 1 Type of Exercise Could Save Your Life

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, manage a chronic condition, or improve your mental health, getting into a fitness routine for the first time isn’t easy. Thankfully, science has made it a little easier. There’s one type of exercise that’s extremely beneficial for your health — and it’s far from complicated. No special equipment, skill, or even a gym membership required.

Many Americans don’t get enough exercise

Group of people running together

Are you getting enough exercise? | Jacoblund/iStock/ Getty Images Plus

Only 52% of adults in the U.S. engage in enough physical activity.

There’s a major misconception that you have to work out long, fast, and hard to get the results you want. Many aren’t willing to — or can’t — put in this level of time and effort. So they don’t. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, just over half of American adults on average get the recommended amount of physical activity.

Not exercising can make you sick

Sick woman cough in bed under blanket

You could be making yourself sick. | iStock.com/samotrebizan

If you don’t exercise, you’re more likely to be depressed and have high blood pressure.

A sedentary lifestyle negatively impacts both your physical and mental health. Johns Hopkins Medicine warns that extended periods of physical inactivity can increase your risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even feelings of anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, exercise alone can’t always help you lose weight or avoid disease — even though it’s still an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.

What’s the best type of exercise for weight loss?

Female hands lacing running shoes. Closeup

Consistent cardio is the key to weight loss. | Fizkes/iStock/Getty Images

Here’s how to lose weight fast with fitness.

If you’re trying to lose weight to get healthier, you’re probably wondering which type of activity you should invest your time and effort into. According to Health.com, cardio workouts tend to burn fat and help more people lose weight. Granted, anything is better than nothing — the most important thing, especially if you want to lose weight and stay healthy, is that you’re doing something consistently.

How can exercise prevent disease?

doctor in a white coat holding a symbol to indicate heart health

Staying active will help keep your heart healthy. | iStock.com

Your weight plays a major role in your disease risk.

Physical activity can change your life — even years down the road, whether you’re looking that far ahead or not. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exercise can help you control your weight — which is a risk factor for many chronic conditions millions of Americans live with today. Exercise’s benefits to your heart, one of the most important muscles in your body, matters no matter the type and duration of activity you choose — at least, according to science.

30 minutes of daily walking could extend your life

Carefree mature woman walking barefoot at beach

A simple walk can go a long way. | iStock.com/m-imagephotography

Even minimal amounts of physical activity decreases your mortality risk.

A study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine followed almost 140,000 people for an average of 15 years, tracking their exercise habits. For many of the study’s participants, walking was the primary form of regular physical activity. Researchers found that those who walked more had a lower risk of dying.

Why is walking so good for you?

Morning walk with dog (black labrador retriever)

Any amount of walking is better than nothing.. | Chalabala/iStock/Getty Images

Walkers are healthier and happier on average than those who don’t move at all.

As Mayo Clinic notes, “Physical activity doesn’t need to be complicated.” Going out for a short walk can significantly improve your health, especially if you make it a regular habit. People who walk regularly tend to maintain a healthy weight, exhibit better balance and coordination, and have stronger muscles and bones. They’re also at a much lower risk of disease. No amount of exercise, as long as it gets your heart rate up, is too small.

Exercise is important — but don’t obsess over it

Man taking a break from running

Don’t let your fitness routine stress you out. | iStock.com

Working out more isn’t always a healthier habit.

Longer, more frequent workouts aren’t always effective if you’re trying to lose weight. This is why experts still consider walking for just 30 minutes a day a much better habit than not exercising at all. You don’t have to — and probably shouldn’t — go to extremes to make exercise work for you. Even minimal amounts of movement can make a huge difference. Start small — it could save your life.

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