[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A mere 11 minutes of exercise
each day might significantly increase your odds of living a longer life, according to a new study.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge found that engaging in just under a dozen minutes of moderate physical activity every day can reduce your risk of early death by 20%.
By logging 75 minutes of exercise each week, you significantly trim your likelihood of being diagnosed with any of several conditions, including:
- Heart disease
- Colon cancer
The study was the largest of its kind and included data from 196 published research articles. Participants in the data that the researchers pored over had their exercise habits monitored for an average of 10 years.
The results showed
that exercising for 11 minutes a day can drop the risk of cardiovascular disease by 17% and cancer by 7%.
Couch potatoes who struggle to find the motivation to exercise should be heartened by the knowledge that even a little exercise can make a large difference in their overall health and life expectancy.
But what about folks who work out more than 11 minutes a day. Can they cut back on their exercise regimen?
Why you should work out more often
While 11 minutes of physical activity each day is better than nothing -- and might significantly boost your health -- it likely is a mistake to stop there.
"I feel that it’s not enough," says Ben Schermerhorn, a master personal trainer at Life Time.
Schermerhorn notes that exercise can improve your health in many ways.
“Exercise can help maintain and lose weight, which helps blood pressure, cholesterol
and heart health,” he says. Daily exercise also can help reduce stress and anxiety, Schermerhorn adds.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes other benefits of exercise, including reduced blood pressure, lower levels of body fat, and stronger bones, muscles and joints.
Unfortunately, about 25% of American adults engage in almost no activity
, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In general:
- Women are less active than men
- African-Americans and Hispanics are less active than whites
- Older adults are less active than younger adults
- Poorer people are less active than affluent people
“We are too inactive as a society,” Schermerhorn says.
The CDC recommends
that adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity weekly. That breaks down to a little more than 21 minutes a day.
But that is just the minimum target that adults should aim to hit. The CDC notes
that you will gain even more benefits if you exceed that target.
Schermerhorn urges you to be especially ambitious. “I would aim for at least 60 minutes a day,” he says.
The two levels of exercise intensity
The CDC’s recommendations are based on engaging in moderate-intensity aerobic activity. You are likely exercising at this level when you raise your heart rate and begin to perspire.
The agency says that if you can talk but cannot sing the words to your favorite song, you likely are exercising at a moderate level of intensity. Examples of activities that put you in this state include:
- Fast walking
- Water aerobics
- Bicycling on a flat surface
- Doubles tennis
- Mowing the lawn
You are likely to get even more health benefits if you bump up your workouts to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. At this level, you are breathing hard and fast, and your heart rate has been substantially elevated.
At this level, you won’t be able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath. Examples of vigorous-level activity
- Swimming laps
- Bicycling fast or over hills
- Singles tennis
Ways to boost your level of physical activity
When beginning a new exercise program, start slow. This is particularly important for people who have been sedentary for a long period. Such folks should start with just five or 10 minutes of activity in a session and build from there, the CDC says.
If you have a chronic health problem – such as obesity, diabetes or hear disease – it is wise to consult with a physician before beginning a new exercise program.
The CDC also suggests that all men over the age of 40 and women over the age of 50 who plan to exercise at a vigorous level of activity should first visit their doctor to make sure they have no underlying health conditions.
If you would like to get more exercise but cannot find the motivation to do so, Schermerhorn recommends dialing down your expectations to something more reasonable.
“High-impact exercises have their time and place, but are not sustainable for most people,” he says.
Instead, he recommends less-intense activity that is still likely to offer a major boost to your health and possibly extend your lifespan. Examples of such exercise might include:
Choosing an activity regimen and sticking with it is the key to using exercise as a springboard to a longer, healthier life. “Try to find enjoyment in the type of exercise you do,” Schermerhorn says.
If you find yourself burning out on your routine, don’t be afraid to switch things up.
“For example, you may enjoy pickleball for a couple of years, and then you may switch to cycling, tennis or running,” Schermerhorn says.
Over time, you might find yourself enjoying your newfound active lifestyle more than you thought you would. If so, consider raising the intensity of your workouts.
For example, the CDC notes that you can get the same benefit from shorter, but more intense exercise that you would from longer, moderate-intensity exercise. That means 20 minutes of jogging might give you the same benefit as 30 minutes of brisk walking.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_text_separator title="Featured Products" border_width="2"][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="2/12"][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width="3/12"][vc_single_image image="167213" img_size="full" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" link="https://www.vitacost.com/pure-essence-labs-longevity-women"][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width="2/12"][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width="3/12"][vc_single_image image="167214" img_size="full" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" link="https://www.vitacost.com/pure-essence-labs-longevity-mens-formula-120-tablets-1"][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width="2/12"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]