If someone suggested that you could do just thirteen minutes of exercise a day could increase your life span, would you believe it? Would you get up early to take a walk, lift weights, jump on a bike?
I’m thinking that everyone has fifteen minutes a day to spare, whether it is before breakfast, in front of the television, on a lunch hour, or after dinner. And, I’m thinking it would be worth it for extra time with family and friends, the opportunity to travel, to garden, to eat ice cream. And thanks to some intensive research and analysis, it might be just that easy.
Researchers in Taiwan analyzed over 400,000 individuals who were participating in a national screening program for a period of eight years. They were able to conclude, based on this large group behavior, that those individuals who engaged in physical activity for just 92 minutes per week were 14 percent less likely to die early than their sedentary counterparts.
The benefits extended to life expectancy, adding three years for the moderate exercisers, as well as finding that they were 10 percent less likely to get cancer
Unfortunately, Americans do not prioritize exercise, as exhibited by its obesity rate, and recent research. According to a September 2010 report in The Lancet, only 5 percent of Americans participate in vigorous activities, such as running, biking or aerobics on a given day, and preparing meals is the most common moderate physical activity (which really doesn’t count in the grand scheme of things).
The study, conducted at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, found that Americans are five times more likely to spend time in the kitchen than doing something physically demanding, reinforcing the stereotype of Americans as “couch potatoes.”
President’s Council on Physical Fitness Recommendations on Page 2