Research Suggests Just 2 Minutes Of Exercise Per Day Could Have Life-Saving Benefits

It’s no secret that Americans could do a little more for their health. Between the food we eat and the sedentary lifestyles we live, it’s no wonder we have high rates of heart disease and cancer.

While there’s not much we can do to control the genetic hand we’re dealt, we can play a role in preventing disease by living a healthy lifestyle. Improving health outcomes may be easier than we once thought, too! New research suggests just 2 minutes of exercise per day could reduce mortality rates!

Photo: Pexels/Max Nikhil Thimmayya

Researchers published their findings in the European Heart Journal, in a study titled, “Vigorous physical activity, incident heart disease, and cancer: how little is enough?”

In the study, researchers found just 15 minutes of intense physical activity every week offered enough health benefits to decrease the risk of death. That comes out to just 2 minutes of exercise per day!

The study involved some 71,000 adults with a median age of 62.5. Researchers used wristbands to monitor participants’ physical activity for around 7 years.

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The results suggest that people who did not participate in physical activity or exercise had a 4% risk of dying during the 7 years, while those who excised around 10 minutes each week cut that risk in half. Adding just 5 extra minutes per week, and exercising 15 minutes, delimited the risk of death almost entirely.

In a press release, study author Dr. Matthew Ahmadi explained that their research show little bits of activity scattered across a week can add up to make a hue difference. He said:

“The results indicate that accumulating vigorous activity in short bouts across the week can help us live longer. Given that lack of time is the most commonly reported barrier to regular physical activity, accruing small amounts sporadically during the day may be a particularly attractive option for busy people.”

Photo: Pexels/Anna Shvets

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and 2 days of muscle strengthening activity each week. That equals around 30 minutes of activity every day for five days.

While 30 minutes may not seem like much, an estimated 75% of adults in the U.S. are failing to meet those exercise recommendations.

Many Americans cite lack of time as being the reason they don’t exercise, and sparing just 2 minutes each day is a lot more achievable than sparing 30. Beyond that, research suggests that the intensity of movement can make an impact too. For example, participating in a quick 2-minute sprint could have better health implications than taking a leisurely 10-minute stroll.

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Dr. Paddy C. Dempsey with the University of Cambridge said in the press release: “Our results suggest that increasing the total volume of physical activity is not the only way to reduce the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease. Raising the intensity was also particularly important, while increasing both was optimal. This indicates that boosting the intensity of activities you already do is good for heart health. For example, picking up the pace on your daily walk to the bus stop or completing household chores more quickly.”

The biggest takeaway from the research should offer people wanting to improve their health a little hope. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym each day to enjoy some of the benefits that physical activity has to offer. Just picking up the pace on the walk from the car to the store could make a difference, or moving a little faster while sweeping the floor or walking the dog.

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