Health officials recommend 2 hours and 30 minutes of daily exercise for the healthy adult. For people with jobs, families, and hobbies, finding just an hour of extra time would be a blessing.
You may not even that. Just 15 minutes of exercise per day may just be enough for the older adult to get by on, so you’ll need to figure out what to do with the rest of that hour.
Keeping up with exercise as you age is important in combatting complications from staying sedentary, brain aging, memory loss, as well as reducing heart disease risk. Not everyone would succumb to these consequences sans exercise, which is why there’s a possible middle ground when it comes to regular exercise.
In a study presented at EuroPRevent 2016, French researchers shared their results of a group of 65 year olds for 12 years. The sample group – 1,011 people – shared a lower risk of death during the study when they exercised more. Levels of exercise varied, but even people with low physical activity, even half the recommended amount, still had a 22% lower risk of death compared to inactive participants.
To reach that 22% threshold, researchers said that was equivalent to a brisk 15 minute walk every day.
The findings are in line with the growing consensus that people, especially the elderly, can still improve their health, regardless of the time they can realistically put in.
“Fifteen min per day of moderate and vigorous physical activity could be a reasonable target dose in older adults,” the study authors conclude.
“Small increases in physical activity may enable some older adults to incorporate more moderate activity and thus get closer to the current recommendations. If more may be better, ‘Even a little is already good’.”