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Taking Your Dog For A Walk Can Help Older Adults Live Longer

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dog walk
During the monitoring period, which averaged around five years, 194 of the men died. Pixabay

Even a few minutes of light exercise daily, such as gentle gardening or taking the dog for a walk, can help the elderly live longer, suggests new research.

“(The) results suggest that all activities, however modest, are beneficial. The finding that (low-intensity physical activity) is associated with lower risk of mortality is especially important among older men, as most of their daily physical activity is of light intensity,” said the researchers led by Barbara Jefferis of University College London.

Clocking 150 minutes of weekly physical activity of any level, even if accumulated in short bouts, might be critical, suggest the findings published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

ALSO READ: Not Health, But Happiness Is the Reason behind Outdoor Dog Walking

Current exercise guidelines recommend accumulating at least 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous physical activity in bouts lasting 10 or more minutes. But such a pattern is not always easy for older adults to achieve, the researchers said.

To find out if other patterns of activity might still contribute to lowering the risk of death, the researchers drew on data from the British Regional Heart Study.

dog walk
The final analysis of the study was based on more than 1,000 men, whose average age was 78. Pixabay

 

They were asked to wear an accelerometer — a portable gadget that continuously tracks the volume and intensity of physical activity — during waking hours for seven days.

ALSO READ: Owning a Dog may help Older Adults to be more Active: Study

The accelerometer findings indicated that total volume of physical activity, from light intensity upwards, was associated with a lower risk of death from any cause.

Each additional 30 minutes a day of light intensity activity was associated with a 17 percent reduction in the risk of death, the study said.

While the equivalent reduction in the risk of death was around 33 percent for each additional 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity a day, the benefits of light intensity activity were large enough to mean that this too might prolong life.

And there was no evidence to suggest that clocking up moderate to vigorous activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more was better than accumulating it in shorter bouts, the study said. (IANS)

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Light Physical Activity May Lower CVD Risk in Women: Study

Most people do not think of folding clothes or walking to the mailbox as physical activity of any kind

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Mental Health
Cycling, walking in nature may improve your mental health. Pixabay

While strolling or running are beneficial for heart health, light physical activity, such as gardening and folding clothes, may also lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in older women, say researchers.

The study showed that such activities might be enough to significantly reduce stroke or heart failure by up to 22 per cent and the risk of heart attack or coronary death by as much as 42 per cent.

The association was strong across all racial and ethnic groups, noted the study published in the journal JAMA Network Open.

“The higher the amount of activity, the lower the risk,” said co-author Andrea LaCroix, Researcher at the University of California, San Diego.

Walking
Walk your way to good health.

“And the risk reduction showed regardless of the women’s overall health status, functional ability or even age. In other words, the association with light physical activity was apparent regardless of these other factors,” LaCroix added.

For the study, researchers studied nearly 6,000 women aged 63 to 97. They were made to wear a device which measured their movement 24 hours a day for seven consecutive days. The device was also calibrated by age to distinguish between light, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.

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Most people do not think of folding clothes or walking to the mailbox as physical activity of any kind, the researchers said.

“This study suggests that for older women, any and all movement counts towards better cardiovascular health,” said David Goff, Director at National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in the US. (IANS)