I hope you had the chance to take a nice walk after your Thanksgiving meal yesterday. And perhaps you even plan to get out and about again this weekend before the weather gets colder.
As I often report, this type of light-to-moderate exercise benefits body and mind. Especially when you do it outside in Nature.
However, I wish this simple message resonated with more people. Especially after seeing the findings from a new study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Researchers found that 1.4 billion people worldwide don’t get enough exercise, putting them at increased risk of developing cancer, cardiovascular disease, dementia, and Type II diabetes. That figure translates to roughly one in four men and one in three women worldwide. And the results show there haven’t been many improvements in recent years.
The worst rates of inactivity were seen in Kuwait, American Samoa, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq — where more than half of all adults weren’t sufficiently active enough to protect their health. In the U.S., we do slightly better — with about 40 percent of adults getting too little exercise.
Now onto the surprisingly positive part of the study…
The WHO set its exercise targets at a sensible total of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. And any kind of activity accumulates toward that target — including gardening and light housework. Plus, the WHO sets a weekly exercise goal — not a daily goal — which is what I’ve always recommended, as it’s more sensible and attainable.
In fact, previous studies suggest it doesn’t matter if you exercise once a day, more than once a day, every other day, or just once or twice a week — as long as it adds up to a minimum of 150 minutes per week.
Of course, some fanatics still deride so-called weekend warriors for their “irregular” exercise habits. But remember — as I reported earlier this year — there are actually substantial health benefits to being a “weekend warrior.”
My exercise Rx
All in all, just keep it simple this winter. Focus on adopting a few simple, sensible habits and you’ll avoid gaining those extra holiday pounds.
Here’s my fitness prescription:
- Get outdoors and exercise, preferably in the sunshine and in Nature. Don’t worry about the daily grind. Just make sure to get about 2.5 hours per week of moderate exercises like walking, hiking, swimming, or gardening.
- If you feel you must go to the gym, walk there…and then, immediately turn around and walk back home, or to work. You’ll feel great, save money, and improve your health and longevity to boot.
- Most grocery stores have huge parking lots, and the spots furthest away from the entrance are usually up for grabs. So park as far away as you can, and walk a few hundred extra steps to and from the store (or inside the mall in bad weather).
I’ve developed many informative, life-changing learning protocols in recent years, and many of them highlight lifestyle and physical activity recommendations to get you moving, and eliminate many of today’s chronic diseases in the process.
I recently released an anthology of learning protocols, which includes not only The Insider’s Ultimate Guide to Outsmarting “Old Age,” but five more of my best-selling learning tools. But due to popular, overwhelming demand, we’ve reached our maximum enrollment limit. However, you’ll be the first to know when this ambitious offer will be available to the public again. Stay tuned!
“Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants,” The Lancet Global Health October 1, 2018; 6(10) PE1077-PE1086