I once worked for a start-up with a lot of young employees. We had just begun offering a retirement savings program and our CFO was giving a presentation to explain the benefits, and especially the “miracle” of compound interest. He ended the presentation by telling the team; “If you don’t take advantage of this, you are too stupid to work here!” Ok, was that a bit harsh? Yes, but effective. How many other retirement investment presentations do you remember 15 years later?
I’m starting to feel that way about walking. If you are not taking a 20-minute walk most days, you are too stupid to work here (he said jokingly). The proven benefits are just too great to ignore. I detailed 5 of the most powerful advantages in a previous blog post, but there are now a few more that tip the scales even further, and will hopefully get us all out of our chairs and out the door a bit more often.
In my goal-coaching programs, weight loss comes up more often than any other goal. It is important for many very good reasons. But a new University of Cambridge study that examined more than 9 million deaths, found that inactivity caused more than twice as many deaths as obesity.
They also looked at 342,000 participants in a 12-year Cancer and Nutrition study and found that a 20-minute daily walk decreased their chances of premature death by 16-30%! Add to that, the amazing effects of just being upright, and it is a pretty compelling case.
When you consider the whole package – more creativity and energy, better body and brain health, lower stress, and oh yeah, less dying – walking is truly the health equivalent of compound interest!