A Little Exercise Goes A Long Way

Current recommendations state that adults should do at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week. For some, this may seem like a lot. Those who hate to work up a sweat will be pleased to learn that, according to a new study, half that amount of exercise may still provide significant health benefits. The research suggests that a mere 15 minutes of physical activity per day can increase one's life expectancy by three years and reduce your risk of early death by 14 percent.

Skeptical? This wasn't small-scale research. More than 400,000 people in Taiwan participated in the eight-year study. People were placed in different categories depending on their level of activity, from inactive to highly active. Those in the low-activity group who exercised about 92 minutes a week (or around 15 minutes a day) were 14 percent less likely to die from any cause during the course of the study. Additionally, they were 10 percent less likely to die of cancer and had a three-year longer life expectancy than those in the inactive group who did not participate in regular physical activity at all. Furthermore, every additional 15 minutes of daily exercise beyond the minimum 15 minutes reduced the risk of early death by 4 percent and the risk of cancer-related death by 1 percent.

Although it doesn't seem like a lot, increasing physical activity by just a few minutes can have a huge effect on inactive people at risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc. So get moving!