(HealthyLifeHacks.net) – Twelve minutes isn’t a lot in the big scheme. Many of us spend at least that much time each day watching ads during our favorite shows or waiting in line for our rush hour coffee fix. What if using that time differently could have life-changing effects?
Researchers have found that investing just 12 minutes a day in vigorous exercise could have significant effects on heart disease and diabetes risks. We have the details.
Most Recent Findings
Harvard Health recently covered a study that measured the effects of vigorous exercise on the blood. Using a pool of over 400 middle-aged volunteers, researchers compared the levels of over 600 metabolites in samples taken before and after 12 minutes of stationary cycling. The volunteers started off exercising slowly, increasing the workout’s intensity each minute; by the end, the cycling was vigorous.
The researchers found notable differences in nearly all of the sets of readings. Most impressive were the reductions in metabolites often increased in diabetes and heart disease, a difference of 29%. Another metabolite doctors associate with both liver disease and diabetes dropped by 18%.
Part of a Health-Positive Routine
The American Heart Association recommends 75 minutes of vigorous activity, 150 minutes of moderate activity or a combination thereof each week. The above study backs this estimate with similar numbers — and it offers some explanation as to why regular exercise can improve a person’s health on so many fronts.
We might not even need to get those 12 minutes each in one stretch. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest we can break up all that vigorous exercise as much as we need to, just as long as we hit the above minimums.
Best Exercises to Maximize Your Time
There are numerous exercises we can do to meet our vigorous exercise quotas for the day. Some good examples include:
- Riding a bicycle at speeds of at least 10 miles per hour
- Running or hiking uphill
- Swimming laps
- Doing heavy yard work
- Dancing at high intensity
- Playing singles tennis or squash
A good rule of thumb is if the activity leaves us taking breaks to catch our breath, it counts as vigorous. People who are more interested in directed cardio workouts might want to try this 12-minute full-body workout:
If that’s too much, start a little slower with this low-impact routine:
Just 12 minutes each day could make a difference in our lifespans and our quality of life. Consider jumping jacks and running in place while watching Netflix, riding a bicycle to work, taking dancing lessons or just having a quick jog around the block. It all adds up, and the difference might reflect in the mirror as well.
~ Here’s To Your Healthiest Life!
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