How to live longer: Which daily activity could prolong your life during the pandemic?
Coronavirus is set to reach peak levels within the UK. To help stop the spread, people are required to follow social distancing measures. Which activity can you do that may add years to your life?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has put restrictions on the way Britons usually live their lives in a fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Encouraging people to “stay at home”, there are only four reasons people are permitted to leave their household.
The first reason is too shop for basic necessities. This means food and medicines and, even then, it’s advised to do this as infrequently as possible.
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The second reason is if you have no other option but to travel to and from work – this would be true of key workers, such as teachers, nurses and doctors.
The third reason is to provide care or help to a vulnerable person.
There’s now an NHS volunteer scheme people can apply to in a bid to help tackle the national crisis.
The official title is NHS Volunteer Responder, where people can sign up to one or more of the tasks listed below:
- Community Response volunteer
- Patient Transport volunteer
- NHS Transport volunteer
- Check-in and Chat volunteer
Back to the measures implemented by PM Boris Johnson, the fourth reason a person is allowed outside of their home is to do a form of exercise.
As it’s required – for the safety of the nation – to only go out for one form of exercise per day, make it count.
Researchers from the University of Leicester collaborated with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and found one type of exercise may extend your life.
Looking at a database of 502, 611 participants, the researchers found that 10 minutes of brisk walking a day was associated with a three-year increase in life expectancy.
Better still, the researchers found that 22 minutes of brisk walking per day could extend someone’s life by five years.
Yogini Chudasama, the lead author of the BioMed Central (BMC) Medicine article, said: “The message of this study is that high-intensity exercise isn’t necessary to increase life expectancy.”
So, why not take a brisk walk on your daily exercise? It’ll do you good in so many ways.
Moreover, you don’t have to walk alone. The government says you’re allowed to take a walk with members of your household – if you choose to, that is.
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Own a dog? Taking the dog (or dogs) for a walk is a great way to shake off cabin fever, promote your wellbeing and possibly extend your life.
And research by Professor Tom Yates, at the University of Leicester, also found a link between a fast walking pace with longer life expectancy – regardless of someone’s weight.
On his findings, he said: “Our findings could help clarify the relative importance of physical fitness compared to body weight on life expectancy of individuals.
“In other words, the findings suggest that perhaps physical fitness is a better indicator of life expectancy than body mass index (BMI), and that encouraging the population to engage in brisk walking may add years to their lives.”
The NHS still recommends adults to do at least 150 minutes of exercise per week.
This averages out just over 20 minutes of brisk walking per day.
With the glorious spring sunshine, get that body of yours moving.
And, if you’re in the vulnerable groups, required to stay at home at all times, walk around the house while chatting to a loved one on the phone.
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