How much should YOU exercise? This article has no advice for you. It does say how little exercise is necessary for a sedentary adult over their initial 12 week period of beginning an exercise regimen.. Is that you? Do you fit that description?
The problem that this research is attempting to address is that the vast majority of our fellow Americans (upwards of 90%) engage in absolutely no regular exercise at all. Zip. Zero. Despite all the health info available, most American perceive the effort of exercise as too much, for results that are too nebulously distant, to warrant their attention.
These researchers are attempting to address this by finding the absolute minimum effort necessary to improve health. It’s sort of like trying to address world hunger by figuring out the absolute minimum amount of food a human needs to remain alive. Great idea.
My own opinion is that most people, deep down, don’t want to extend their own lives. They may be afraid of death when it’s staring them in the face, but their day to day lives are such efforts of futility that any distraction, however unhealthy, is preferable to the hard work it might take to extend these futile lives most of us are forced into. And I believe that this is how most people feel, even if its only subconsciously.
If you read the article carefully, all the way to the end, it does talk about the limitations and flaws of these studies as they’ve been done thus far. Worth a read, so long as you read carefully to the end.
NYTimes: The Rise of the Minimalist Workout
People have long been trying to figure out what the right amount of exercise is, but the focus lately is on the shortest period possible.