Good news for couch potatoes! A recent release by a doctor and anti-aging supporter suggests that if you want to add years to your lifespan, you can forget what the federal guidelines tell you about how often to exercise.
As it currently stands, federal guidelines say that most people should get about 2 ½ hours of exercise every week (30 minutes a day if you break it down that way) in order to reap health benefits.
But specialist Dr. Frank Comstock says that if you have an hour a week to give to exercise, that’s all you need for fitness and anti-aging to take place. The thought of exercising for just 60 short minutes a week holds a great deal of appeal for many of us.
The thought of exercising every single day is what keeps many of us sidelined before we even get started. But an hour out of an entire week seems more manageable (especially for those who hate to exercise).
Rather than committing to five days a week, an hour of exercise can be knocked out in two days or even one day. Comstock suggests breaking it down evenly into 20 minute time periods three times a week.
The exercise that the doctor suggests is interval training. With this type of exercise, you would exercise with an activity that was more intense followed by exercise that isn’t – such as speed walking, then normal walking.
But even more encouraging? The doctor says that engaging in exercise even less than twenty minutes, to begin with, is okay. Getting started by giving just 10 minutes a week – 5 minutes for two days out of the week is acceptable. That’s good news and is encouraging for a majority of the population who want to exercise but don’t feel like they have the time commitment to give.
The best bet is not to start out with an exercise that you don’t enjoy. If you do that, your task will be twice as hard. Instead, stick to something that’s easier for you to tolerate. Walking is usually one of the easiest tolerated exercises for people who are just now starting to exercise or are coming back after years of absence.
Since we all have days where we’d rather do anything but exercise, once you start your routine, if it just doesn’t appeal to you, then aim for the 10 minutes instead. Even the 10 minutes of exercise can make a difference in slowing aging and helping you feel and look better.