Written by Chad “PK” Pilkington
All right, let’s acknowledge what we already know: exercise is great for you. But just how much exercise do you need in order to make a difference?
I recently read an NBC News health article about just how much exercise you need to experience health benefits. It may surprise you to learn it doesn’t take much! For ‘substantial health benefits,’ the CDC recommends working your way toward a goal of 150 minutes per week of moderate activity. That’s just 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
A little exercise goes a long way
According to the CDC, people who are physically active for at least 150 minutes per week have a 33% lower chance of all-cause mortality. To some, 150 minutes per week may be difficult to find the time for, but fear not! The CDC also says that the risks of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and many forms of cancer are reduced even below the 150 minute/week threshold!
If you rely on steps to help you hit your activity levels each day, you’ll also be happy to hear that even with significantly less than the recommended 10k steps a day, you can still benefit. Middle-aged people who walked an average of 7,000 steps per day were still 60% less likely to die of cancer, heart disease or other natural causes.
Also remember that as you age, your risk for injury increases. Of course, this is completely normal, but just a little bit of regular exercise can slow the loss of bone-density, lower the risk of hip fracture, reduce the risk of falling, and help manage arthritic pain and other joint-related conditions (CDC.gov, NOV 2021).
Exercise is more beneficial than weight loss
Interestingly enough, the scientific community has observed that while intentional weight loss can reduce mortality risk, exercising regularly and increasing overall fitness activity is substantially more beneficial. The difference has some significance; with up to a 15% decrease in mortality risk for those aiming to lose weight, versus up to a 60% decrease in mortality risk for those who are just generally more active.
The bottom line is this–even just a little exercise goes a long way! Turning that ‘little’ exercise into a consistent schedule and complementing it with a healthy diet goes even further. Go for a run along Lady Bird Lake, or go hiking to Twin Falls, or hop on a CityBike and cruise along South Congress. Whatever you find enjoyment in–just get up, get moving and take advantage of this beautiful, fitness-friendly city we live in!
At ASF, we know you can fit a lot of fitness into 30 minutes! Let us help you meet your goals – schedule your complimentary fitness consultation and first workout today!