How Much Exercise Should We Be Doing Daily?

Is 15 minutes a day really going to cut it?

 

Whether it’s from choice or to avoid being as wide as we are tall, there are many reasons to exercise daily. The benefits range from helping us look and feel good with or without clothes, to improving our sex lives. Plus, people who are physically active have much lower risks of developing diabetes, bowel and breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Just those five diseases are some of the top causes of premature death.

Top causes of premature death

pie chart of diseases

Despite exercise being the miracle vaccine for most diseases, obesity is still on the increase. This prompted the World Health Organization to publish recommended weekly exercise guidelines. They advocate two and a half hours of moderate aerobic activity such as fast walking and half that for vigorous activity such as running or weight training. That works out to roughly 11 minutes a day for high intensity activities.

Examples of moderate and vigorous activities

examples of moderate and intense activities

Maybe this is why a certain coach promises to get people lean with 15 minutes of HIIT a day. But do we really believe that’s all it takes to achieve a figure like Michelle Lewin? A quick look at his Facebook page would suggest at least 77,000 people believe as much. But if it’s true, why aren’t we all eating more and exercising less? Whatever these famous coaches are cooking up, the main recipe isn’t lasting health and fitness.

Does this look like only 15 minutes a day?

michelle lewin

That’s because there really are no short cuts to health and fitness highlighted by a recently published article in the British Medical Journal. The study focused on overall total physical activity, including time spent doing chores in the home, physical activity at work, traveling (walking or cycling to work) as well as workouts. Increasing the total amount of physical activity from the recommended minimum has a significant impact on the risk of developing those killer diseases.

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Researchers found we should be doing approximately six times more exercise than previously thought. This could be bad news for those who have built a business based on the ‘less-is-more’ principle. However, the good news for the rest of us is that this equates to roughly an hour in the gym crushing a workout. Not able to engage in intense workouts or simply short on time? Not a problem.

woman using leg press machine

We can opt for less intense activity throughout the day, in spurts of 10 minutes or more, for a total of two hours. It’s fantastic news for those with fatigue issues or children. As all activity counts, walking or cycling to and from work is a fantastic way to clock up the minutes. At home, do gardening, walking the dog, vacuuming or any activity you can sustain for 15 to 25 minutes that raises your heart rate.

walking the dog gif

So, is all that extra housework really worth it? Read it for yourself here but the risk drops by 14% in the case of breast cancer and by 28% for diabetes. Not only can we be healthy and fit, we can achieve it while maintaining immaculate homes and gardens. Perhaps we really can have it all.

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