The 20-Minute Solution to a Longer Life

If you’re always saying you don’t have time to exercise, you just ran out of your last excuse.

It turns out you can take a giant step towards living a healthier life in less time than it takes to watch an episode of “The Big Bang Theory.”

According to a new report in the American Journal of Critical Nutrition, a brisk 20-minute walk—no matter what you weigh—can actually help you live longer. Don’t believe it? Check this out:

In a study conducted with 334,000 European middle-aged men and women, researchers analyzed data which included their height, weight and waist size. They also evaluated the number of hours per week participants spent time on recreational activities like jogging and cycling and their activity level at work, which was categorized as either sedentary (office workers), physical (nursing) or heavy manual labor (construction). Using the individuals’ combined levels recreational and occupational activities, researchers divided the participants into four groups: active, moderately inactive and inactive.

Twelve years later, they went back to see how many participants had passed away since the beginning of the study. While it was no surprise to learn that the more active people were, the lower their risk of dying, there was some good news among the inactive groups. It turns out the moderately inactive group was about 20 percent less likely to die than the inactive group. Researchers concluded it doesn’t take much for couch potatoes to move up to the moderately inactive group, significantly lowering their risk of death. Their recommendation: just walk 20 minutes a day.

So what are you waiting for? Step to it!