London: There is no need to spend hours
pounding away on a treadmill at the gym to get fit. The key to
a longer life is taking a stroll for half-an-hour daily, says
a new study.
Researchers in Britain have carried out the study and
found that a daily walk to the shops can cut the risk of early
death by 20 per cent.
"Our research confirms that it is not just exercising
hard that is good for you. Even moderate, everyday activities
like walking and cycling can have major health benefits. Just
walking to the shops or walking the children to school can
lengthen your life.
"It is a very important message to get across, that
small amounts of light to moderate activity on a regular basis
will have quite large benefits," James Woodcock of the London
School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who led the study,
was quoted by the `Daily Express` as saying.
The study, carried out with researchers at
Cambridge University and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden,
showed the largest health benefits were in people who did
hardly any physical activity.
Woodcock added: "Large benefits were found in people
going from being a couch potato to doing some activity."
Diet and movement specialist Joanna Hall said: "This
research is so encouraging because many people are under the
impression that in order to incur health, fitness and weight
loss benefits they need to exercise vigorously and this is
simply not the case."
The findings have been published in the `International
Journal of Epidemiology`.