Well Being

New Study Gives Us All License To Work Out As Little As Possible And Still Feel Good About Ourselves

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walkingSome of us are still dragging our feet when it comes to mustering up the energy to hit the gym a couple of times a week (myself included). Listen, it's winter, I'm cold, and I would rather be buried under my blankets watching Netflix, drinking wine, and generally acting as though physical fitness is a thing not pertinent to my survival than working out. Not a spectacular mindset to have when you're trying to ramp up your fitness routine, right? Well, new research finds that even going from very lazy to sorta lazy means that we're making more moves than we think.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that EXERCISE MATTERS, no matter how much you may be pigging out otherwise. The team of researchers from Ulf Ekelund of the University of Cambridge, examined data from 334,161 Europeans whose health and exercise stats — height, weight, waist circumference, frequency of exercise, and drinking and smoking habits, among other criteria — were tracked for an average of 12.4 years.

So, in short, the researchers had a boatload of data to mine. One of the most interesting findings, however, was this: going from literally zero exercise to walking at a brisk pace for 20 minutes a day resulted in a 20 to 30 percent decreased risk in mortality.

A brisk walk might seem like “nothing” to the Soul Cycle diehards among us, but for peopler who don't exercise and maybe overindulge on their favorite foods, it's challenging at first. Even 20 minutes of walking helps to mitigate the damage done to the body when it's not exercising or eating properly. Amazing, right?

The takeaway? Don't feel guilty the next time you don't break a sweat on the treadmill. It all matters.

Photograph: Shutterstock

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