The $100 Billion Walk

A statistical model suggests that exercise does not just improve health but could also trigger a seismic boost to the global economy....

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Every weekday, we make sense of the confusing world of wellness by analyzing the headlines, simplifying the latest research, and offering quick tips designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.

Today’s Health Upgrade: Living Longer

  • The $100 billion walk

  • Exercise of the week

  • Tuesday tips

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The $100 Billion Walk

If your employer has a “suggestion jar,” here’s an idea that — if adopted — could make a real impact. 

Research suggests the world economy could be boosted by $100 billion if employers could get their employees to move an extra 15 minutes per day.  

We’ve discussed the endless benefits of walking many times, and the undeniable health improvements are the reason for the economic shift. Scientists studied 120,000 people across seven countries and built statistical models to determine an alternate reality where people were healthier, lived longer, were more productive, and had higher cognitive capacity. 

After all, research has found that as little as 15 minutes of walking can reduce your cancer risk, while 10 minutes of walking can improve your cognitive ability. The list of studies goes on and on, which is why — at the very least — we all should find time to walk every day. So, what better way to boost your productivity than to make it a part of the workday?

From those ambitious CEOs, why limit the built-in movement breaks to 15 minutes? The more people exercise, the more everyone wins. The same study projected that if everyone got the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week, the global GDP would increase by more than $300 billion annually

Exercise of the Week: Behind-The-Neck Press

Read enough on the internet, and you might think the behind-the-neck press is banned. And yet, it was one of Arnold’s favorite shoulder movements. 

The good news: If you want to try the movement, research suggests that it’s safe for your shoulders — as long as you have a healthy range of motion in your shoulders. If you don’t, it could cause issues.

Check out this post for classic footage of Arnold doing behind-the-neck shoulder presses and tips on making it a part of your routine. 

Tuesday Tips

💪 Three-Minute Life Booster

The exercises you do in the gym aren’t the only type of movement that matters. Research suggests that “vigorous intermittent lifestyle physical activity” (VILPA) — or unstructured intense bursts of activity (think running up a flight of stairs) — might contribute to better longevity. One study found that three to six minutes of VILPA could reduce your risk of early death by nearly half. 

Put another way: if you race up a few flights of stairs several times daily, it might not burn many calories, but it will improve heart health in ways the scale can’t measure.

💪 Documentary Worth Your Time: Little Empty Boxes

Dementia affects 55 million people worldwide. And when the disease took over the life of Max Lugavere’s mom, he began a quest to save her. Little Empty Boxes is a beautiful exploration of making the most of our time together, a son’s love, and the future of fighting cognitive disease. It’s a story that’s worth your time. You can pre-order now for many bonuses, and the film will be available on June 27th.

💪 Xylitol and Heart Attacks

Another month, another study suggested that a popular artificial sweetener causes heart attacks. The bottom line: the study is a good reason to investigate more, but nothing from the current research suggests consuming xylitol causes cardiovascular issues. As always, if certain sweeteners don’t sit well with you or you don’t want to use them, there are endless alternatives. We’re just letting you know the fear doesn’t come close to matching the evidence. If you want a deeper dive to understand why, watch this video. 

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell