Actually, you don’t even need to hike — which to a physically active person would suggest moving at a brisk 4 m.p.h. pace for a couple of hours, likely including a number of inclines to get the heart really going. Instead, all you need to do is walk.
From the article:
“Two numbers are, to me, particularly emblematic of what science had to tell us about fitness this year.
The first is 42 percent and represents the extent by which people’s risk for premature death rises if they are out of shape, according to a study published in July. That number almost equals the risk of early death associated with heavy smoking.
The second figure is $2,500 and is the amount of money that each of us most likely could save annually on medical costs related to heart disease if we walked for 30 minutes most days, according to a wonderfully pragmatic study released in September.
In other words, exercise science this year taught us that being inactive could potentially cost us years from our lives and many thousands of dollars from our wallets.”
A half hour walk a day, at a rate that gets your heart rate up beyond its normal resting pace, will do the trick. My guess is that as your body adjusts to moving, you’ll naturally increase your own pace as your fitness improves.
Sounds do-able, don’t you think? Your body and your cognitive functioning will thank you for every step.