A Bit of Exercise, But a Lot of Benefit
There's been a plethora of research lately documenting the health benefits of any sort of exercise, no matter how modest. The most recent documents a twelve-week study of 106 sedentary middle-aged folks who were assigned to one of three regimens: walking thirty minutes three days a week; walking thirty minutes five days a week; or doing nothing at all.
The walkers were even allowed to break their thirty-minute stints up into three bouts of ten minutes long. Really, you can't get much easier than that.
In both walking groups, systolic blood pressure and waist circumference fell significantly and "functional capacity" increased.
For the non-walkers, on the other hand, nothing changed. Even a small reduction in blood pressure and waist circumference can lower risk of cardiovascular disease, and who couldn't use a bit more functional capacity? It's a pretty good payoff for a mere half-hour three times a week.
Sources: Medline Plus
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, September 2007