21 Minutes A Day Can Save Your Life


Physical inactivity is dangerous to our health.

According to the BBC, a new Lancet study suggests “A lack of exercise is now causing as many deaths as smoking across the world.” Furthermore, the study “estimates that about a third of adults are not (getting) enough physical activity, causing 5.3 million deaths a year.” So here’s the question: Since we’ve been told to exercise and eat right for years, why are people still ignoring this important advice to stay healthy?


If your line of work is manual labor, chances are you’re getting all the exercise you need and then some. However, if you sit at a desk staring at a computer for 7 to 10 hours a day the fact you’re not getting enough exercise probably won’t come as a shock.


Walking the dog is one type of physical activity.

Walking the dog can count toward physical activity, but the best walking is at a “brisk” pace.

Experts tell us we should be getting a minimum of about 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Moderate exercise includes activities like brisk walking, biking, gardening, etc. That translates to 21 minutes per day 7 days a week. How can getting such a small amount of exercise be so difficult? Consider this: There’s 1440 minutes in a 24 hour day so 21 minutes represents a tiny percent, some 1.5%. And even if you account for 7 hours of sleeping there’s still 1020 minutes available to exercise so 21 minutes represents about 2% of the total minutes we’re awake. It doesn’t sound like much, does it?


Running's not for everyone.

Running not for you? The good news is you don’t need to do anything this hard.

Yet for far too many people the notion of exercising on a regular basis seems either too difficult or requires too much time in an already crowded schedule. And therein lies the problem: Getting enough exercise is all about making it a priority in life. To do that, we need to develop a keen appreciation it’s not just good for us, but if we don’t get enough it’s really, really bad.


It's not important what you do, only that you do something.

If you like swimming and have access to water, it’s a great “low-impact” sport that won’t hurt joints.

This new study may help in that it makes a very startling conclusion: If 5.3 million deaths can be attributed to lack of sufficient exercise that’s both appalling and entirely preventable—that is, it’s preventable providing government and business get the message and encourage people to incorporate more activity into the average workday.



Take up biking.

Biking is another activity that’s both fun and has less impact on joints.

Meanwhile, don’t wait for someone else to run with the ball. Try doing any type of exercise for 21 minutes a day on your own. It doesn’t have to come all at one time either. Thus, you could try walking and tuck it in between all those things you do throughout your day. For example, you might take a quick walk around your workplace during break or lunch and then do a bit of gardening or biking when you get home from work.


We All Need To Start Somewhere


I'm going to get more exercise.

The first step is to get up. The second is to get going. You can do it!

We can’t leave off without noting that 21 minutes a day is the bare minimum and everyone would benefit by adding a few more minutes into their physical routine. The next time you’re struggling to get up off that couch and get moving, remember this: Sitting there is killing you.



If you’d like to start exercising but don’t know where to start check out our posts, “Walk Your Way To Better Health”  and “Burning Fat: Weight Loss and Exercise.”

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