We all know that regular exercise contributes greatly to a healthy lifestyle. There are many great health benefits with exercising regularly, including how it helps prevent heart disease and various forms of cancer which are the number 1 and 2 leading causes of death in the US.
This begs the question, with all the information out there as to how beneficial exercise is, why are so many people still remaining sedentary?
Working in physical therapy, we’ve heard many ‘reasons’ why people don’t exercise.
“I don’t have enough time. I’m too busy.”
“Gym memberships are too expensive.”
“I can’t do the things I used to do.”
One obstacle to exercise is undoubtedly mindset. If you think you can’t, you won’t. You won’t even attempt to make the necessary adjustments in life to make exercise feasible if you don’t believe it’s possible. Another major obstacle is the misconception that in order to be healthy, we must do rigorous and high-intensity exercise for 30-60 minutes 5-7 days per week.
Good news! Here are some interesting facts about how even light exercise can have positive effects on our health.
– Research has shown that a 5-minute run generates the same benefits as a 15-minute walk.
– Studies have shown that there is a reduction of cardiovascular disease by 45% from 5-min to 10-min runs per day. Even 15 min of brisk walking reduced mortality from ischemic heart disease by 25%.
– In one study, compared with individuals in the inactive group, those in the low-volume activity group who exercised for an average of 92 min per week or 15 min a day, had a 14% reduced risk of all-cause mortality, and had a 3 year longer life expectancy.
Conclusion: 15 min a day or 90 min a week of moderate-intensity exercise might be of benefit for improved overall health, even for individuals at risk of cardiovascular disease.
Some ideas for light exercise include seated exercise classes, walking around your home or around the block, and doing housework. Not only can this level of activity aid in reduced mortality from cancer and heart disease, but it aids in improving bone mass, decreasing chronic pain, and improving mental health.
What can we take away from all of this information? Staying healthy is simpler than we thought. Even 15 minutes a day can provide health benefits we need to fight these diseases and pain.