As January comes to a close, most New Year’s resolutions are probably on life support right about now. If exercise was on your list, fear not, here is the minimum amount of exercise you need to do to keep that resolution alive!
If exercise is not your thing, you are not alone. Only 20% of middle-aged individuals perform 15-minutes of vigorous exercise per week. Vigorous exercise is any activity that makes it difficult to speak while performing it, such as jogging or hiking.
A modest amount of exercise can go a long way. A recent study published in the European Heart Journal examined about 72,000 adults to investigate the impact of minimal exercise on their heart health. Participants in the study wore an activity tracker to measure the amount of actual exercise they were performing. The participants were then followed for 5 years to monitor any health changes.
The study results were quite remarkable. Participants who did no exercise had a 4% chance of dying during the study. The people who did only ten minutes of exercise a week cut their chance of dying by half. And the people who performed 60 minutes of exercise a week cut their risk to 1%.
Overall, the researchers estimated that getting 15 to 20 minutes a week of vigorous physical activity was linked to a reduction in the risk of dying by 16% to 40%.
This is great news for people who are interested in increasing their weekly physical activity. Small bouts of exercise can lead to large gains, and can take many forms such as gardening, snow shoveling, hiking and more.
If you are on the fence about taking that first step towards better health, hopefully this study will encourage you to make a move. Small, consistent habits can lead to large gains; your future self will thank you.
We wish you the best of health!