We’d all love to have a few more years of life, wouldn’t we? After all, a longer life means more time to explore the amazing wonders of the world, meet new people, spend more time with our loved ones, and do all those things we’ve put off until our later years. Well, if you want to live a longer life, it’s in your best interest to include a few minutes of daily exercise into your routine. As one study found, just a short workout can make a huge difference on your lifespan!
The Recommended Amount of Exercise
According to the US Government, it’s recommended that you get about 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) of exercise per week. That can be divided into two 75 minute workouts, five 30-minute sessions, or a single glorious full-length workout. It’s recommended because it is what science indicates is the minimum your body needs to stay healthy. You won’t get crazy fit or shredded with that little bit of exercise, but you will be able to maintain healthy cardiovascular function and stave off the effects of age.
What if You Don’t Have 150 Minutes?
A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine looked at the physical activity of older men who didn’t actually end up doing the full 2 ½ hours of exercise per week. Nearly 1,200 men participated in the study, and they wore movement monitors over the course of five years. The men went about their lives as normal, and then after the five-year period all the data was collected. The results were absolutely fascinating!
Volume Matters More than Length or Intensity
When comparing the data, the researchers found that the volume of exercise was more important than the length or the intensity. The positive results were experienced by men who did sporadic 10-minute bouts of exercise throughout the day, including walking and light cardiovascular activity. 66% of the men in the study found that they were more easily able to meet the recommended weekly amount of exercise when they broke it down into smaller bouts at various times throughout the day and week.
The Effects of Sporadic Exercise
Not only did the men who engaged in sporadic exercise have visible improvement in their cardiovascular health over the men that didn’t do exercise at all, but they also saw a drastic decrease in their early death risk rates—as much as 17%! The more vigorous the exercise, the higher the protective effects. Men that engaged in moderate to strenuous activity saw a 33% reduction in their death risk FOR EVERY 30 MINUTES that they spent doing exercise. That’s a pretty noticeable change, all from just a few minutes of working out every day.
Don’t Have Time? Don’t Worry!
If you’re a busy professional or parent, chances are you probably don’t have a whole lot of time to spend at the gym, Yoga class, or working out. You may barely find the time to fit in your 30 minutes per day or 150 minutes per week, and you find yourself feeling stressed in your efforts to make it work. Don’t sweat it! Instead of trying to get in a full-length workout every day, try fitting in a few smaller, shorter workouts. Break your daily training into 10-minute sessions, which you can do 2-4 times per day. For example, spend the first 10-minute period focusing on your upper body, the second on your lower body, and the third on your cardiovascular conditioning and core strength. A few short minutes of high-intensity workout can make a huge difference in your fitness and extend your lifespan drastically!