We sit, we sit, we sit. In front of computers, TV and movie screens, on our phones. But our bodies are designed to MOVE. And the inertia you feel, I promise, will be relieved if you make a modest goal – to MOVE today for five minutes, ten minutes, or a half-hour.
Vibrant Living calls for a half-hour of exercise everyday. It can be in three 10-minute increments, broken up throughout the day. Today, a new study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology is revealing how very powerful small stints of daily exercise can be. Ready for it? People who ran FIVE minutes a day extended their lives an average of THREE years.
“Running even at lower doses or slower speeds was associated with significant mortality benefits,” the researchers found. On the other hand, “inactivity can lead to a 25% increase in heart disease and a 45% increase in cardiovascular disease mortality, not to mention a 10% increase in the incidence of cancer, diabetes, and untold depression.” Seriously, we are, as a nation, setting ourselves up for disease by sitting so much.
Not a runner? Even 15 minutes of brisk walking has proved life-extending, another study has shown. But many of us with bad knees or joint issues can manage small intervals of running. And this is more proof that getting out of your chair and putting on your sneakers is medicinal and critical to our bodies’ wellbeing.
Too much work to do to get out and run or walk? At least STAND UP! I stand up at home while I’m on the phone. And I work standing up, with my laptop on the kitchen counter. More and more of you are telling me you are investing in stand-up or treadmill desks. And your body will thank you for this added motion. Still, the value of getting outdoors everyday can’t be underestimated. You will return to your work with so much clarity and creativity after a quick dash around the neighborhood.
Remember: I have never belonged to a gym. I have never had a personal trainer. I really KNOW that getting outdoors everyday for 30 minutes is transformative – for your body, your mind, your spirit. So take a little time today to move, starting with five or ten minutes of running or walking! Shake off the stresses of the day. Take in the grandeur of a giant blue sky or the sight of a tiny, busy ant hill, and reflect for a moment on how big our world is, how magnificent our vistas are.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Take FIVE today — and let it be the start of a movement towards a longer, more active life.