Hitting (and falling off!) the treadmill 脿 la聽Taylor Swift is the surest way to feel great about yourself 鈥 both mentally and physically. We鈥檝e been told for years by government and health organizations that 150 minutes聽a week is the ultimate gym-going goal, leaving many of us constantly聽searching for workout motivation聽to get in our hours. But what if you needed to spend way less time in spin class聽to reap major health benefits? A recent study聽published in the聽Canadian Journal of Cardiology聽found that the widely suggested amount of exercise overreaches what most people actually need to stay healthy.


The study聽found that just half of the globally聽recommended 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise a聽week is enough for many to see improvement in their overall health. Also, they found people still benefited from a lower level of activity, meaning that it鈥檚 not always necessary to go super hard during workouts. Study co-authors聽Darren E.R. Warburton, PhD, and Shannon S. Bredin, PhD, MSc, of the University of British Columbia said in a news release that 鈥淭here is compelling evidence that health benefits can be accrued at a lower volume and/or intensity of physical activity.鈥

Both doctors agree that the 150 minute threshold became the gospel of the international health and wellness communities because of聽a simple misinterpretation of the language used in the original findings. They believe that the word 鈥渟hould鈥 somehow morphed into the word 鈥渕ust,鈥 thus skewing the recommended weekly exercise聽hours.


The strong wording of the classic recommendation can make many gym-goers feel inadequate in their own fitness schedules, causing them to give up when they don鈥檛 measure up. The authors warn against that common roadblock, saying, 鈥溾楳ove more and sit less鈥 is more understandable by contemporary society and based on a strong body of evidence.鈥 Simply put, fitting in what exercise you can and avoiding long periods of sitting or standing is enough.

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