There is a pretty huge misconception out there that in order to be healthy you have to exercise vigorously to be healthy. And this simply isn’t true.
Last week in this blog I talked about how we need to re-define our relationship with movement. And truly understand the difference between physical activity and exercise.
Physical activity is movement with the intention of overall health and well-being. Every move counts and the research points to a cumulative goal of 150 minutes per week being the number to aim for when it comes to the prevention of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
Exercise is movement with the intention of improving your fitness outcomes (cardiovascular condition, muscular strength & endurance as well as flexibility). What this looks like is unique to the individual because we ALL have unique fitness priorities, interests and goals (hurray for that)!
Today I want to dig a little deeper into Physical Activity. Because there is some great new research pointing to the intensity required to gain this benefit!
In a recent study participants were followed for a 15 year period. After 15 years the data on their health habits and health outcomes were evaluated.
If you’re not one for moderate to vigorous (or more strenuous) physical activity, what they found will be of interest to you!
What they discovered was that replacing 30 minutes of sedentary activity with LIGHT intensity activity (read: gardening, cleaning the house, gentle walking, cooking, doing laundry, washing the car, walking to talk to a colleague) resulted in the following outcomes:
- 11% lower risk of all-cause mortality
- 24% lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality
Sure, engaging in moderate to vigorous lowered those risks even further:
- 38% if you swap just 10 minutes for moderate to vigorous
- 77% fi you replace 30 minutes per day
BUT…the take home is this is what I REALLY want you to hear:
ALL movement is GOOD movement when it comes to overall health and the prevention of lifestyle related disease!
If you don’t “hit the gym” or “run” or “go to classes” it doesn’t mean you aren’t taking great strides towards your health. In fact, there is a lot to be said for simply moving more when it comes to overall health outcomes.
Do not be hard on yourself. Start where you are. Move. Move a little more. Listen to your body and progress at your pace and do what works for you and YOUR life!
Want to get geeky on the research? Check it out here.