Many of us find the idea of exercising daunting. For people who are physically fit, getting in their steps can be a breeze. But for those of us on the other end of the spectrum, it can be an overwhelming task. Now, research from the Norwegian School of Sports Medicine shows that 11 minutes of moderate exercise can give you long-term health benefits, including living a longer life.
The study was large, looking at more than 44,000 people for 14 and a half years. People who worked out for 35 minutes a day saw the best health results. But, people who worked out for at least 11 minutes saw benefits. Unlike previous studies, people had activity monitors. They weren’t self-reporting their exercise; it was actually being tracked. That makes this information much more accurate than most studies about how much exercise we need to be healthy.
Older studies said we needed much more than 11 minutes of exercise a day to stay healthy. But that was because they were based on how much exercise people said they were doing. When we self-report, we’re forgetful and tend to think we sit less and move more. This study tracked people and saw that people actually move less than they think they do but get the results through exercises like cleaning and other chores like yard work. Walking is one of the easiest and most effective workouts possible.
While walking outside or at the gym are your best options to get an easy 11 minutes of moderate exercise, there’s always dancing at home as an option! Our team tends to lean into mopping, sweeping and vacuuming as our go-to exercises while stuck inside during pandemic restrictions. It keeps our homes clean and our bodies moving. Our kitchens are more spotless than they ever have been before, all in the name of having something to do. It’s nice to couple exercise and a chore as you kill two birds with one stone!
No matter how you look at it, this study is good news. It comes as a relief to many folks who have heard the old guidelines for exercise and thought they were unachievable. We all have time to exercise for 11 minutes a day. No matter your physical ability level, make sure you work some movement into your day. It could be stretches, yoga, walking, weightlifting or something else you enjoy that feels comfortable and manageable. This study shows: your goals are more achievable than you think!