Getting fitter isn’t a do or do not all-or-nothing decision. Recent research shows with how much you’ll improve your health.
4 Hours? You Crazy?
I broached the same subject in a 2012 article, and back then gave you the CDC’s recommendation for the biggest fitness results with least possible effort: 2.5 hours of moderate cardio and two strength training sessions per week.
All in all that’s still about 4 hours. How about 30 minutes per week?
3 Hours Or 30 Minutes – Little Difference
Scientists from Iowa State University examined the data of 55,137 people whose health on average was monitored for 15 years. About a quarter of them were runners and reported how much time they spent on the activity.
Now comes the rub: it almost didn’t matter how much they ran to reap benefits. Across the board, all runners had a lower of risk of premature death and illness, no matter if they ran for 3 or just 1/2 hour per week. Compared to non-runners, they gained about 3 years of life.
And they didn’t even have to go fast: 6 mph (10 km/h) worked as nicely as higher speeds.
What did matter was persistence, because the most significant benefits came to those who kept at it, week after week.
Every Little Bit Helps
Dr. Duck-chul Lee, the study’s lead author, hopes that this will motivate more people to run, because many believe they just don’t have the time for fitness.
As I said back in 2012: the more you do, the fitter you will be, but it takes very little exercise for a positive impact on your health and life.
Picture courtesy of Mike Baird.