Walk for two minutes. Repeat 15 times. Or walk for 10 minutes, thrice. The benefits for longevity appear to be almost exactly the same, according to an inspiring new study of physical activity patterns and life spans.
It finds that exercise does not have to be prolonged in order to be beneficial. It just has to be frequent.
Most of us who are interested in health know that federal exercise guidelines recommend we work out moderately for at least 30 minutes per day at least five times per week in order to reduce our risks of developing many diseases or dying prematurely.
These guidelines also recommend that we accumulate those 30 minutes of daily exercise in bouts lasting for at least 10 minutes at a time.
The guidelines, first published in 2008, were based on the best exercise science available at the time, including several studies indicating that if exercise sessions were briefer than 10 minutes, they would not increase people’s aerobic fitness, meaning their athletic endurance.