Well-Being//

You Don’t Need to ‘Work Out’ to Get the Benefits of Exercise

Like living longer.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

The world has a fitness problem: In 2015, body weight was implicated in 7 percent of all deaths worldwide. That’s four million human lives.

But new, promising research throws new light on an old treatment: fitness. In The Lancet, a team of researchers followed 130,000 adults from 17 low-, middle- and high-income countries over the course of seven years. (This, Julia Belluz reports for Vox, makes it one of the largest studies of heart health ever done.) The researchers, led by Dr. Scott Lear at Simon Fraser University in Canada, found that 150 minutes a week of exercise reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and death. That’s a little over 20 minutes a day.

And it doesn’t have to be some fancy gym membership or trendy boutique fitness class. “I would dispel the notion of having to put out money to be active,” Lear told Vox. “Our findings indicate that non-recreational activity—work, housework, active transportation—is just as beneficial in reducing the risk for premature death and heart disease.”

It’s also a powerful reminder of how we should make it easy for ourselves to maintain healthy habits, and it builds on research suggesting that people who have active commutes live longer lives, with cyclists getting the most benefit.

Productivity nerds call it “reducing friction”: if you want to make yourself do something you might resist—like going on an early morning run—make it as easy as possible. Set out your running gear the night before and leave it by the door. Like Lear’s research shows, every minute counts.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Science//

9 Ways To Boost Your Brainpower

by Adams Media
Science//

‘Weekend Warrior’ Workouts May Help You Live Longer

by Shelby Lorman
Well-Being//

The 3 Best Quick Workouts to Do in the Morning When You’re Epically Busy

by Nora Battelle

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.