With busy work days and aggressively long to-do lists, sometimes it can be difficult to squeeze in a sweat sesh as often as you'd like to. It might feel like the couple of times you're hitting up SoulCycle each week just aren't cutting it, and maybe you wish you could do more to feel energized AF throughout the week and reap those juicy, endorphin-boosting benefits. So, if you're wondering how much exercise you need in a week to really make those physical and mental #gains, science says it's a very manageable amount, and following this fitness guideline will actually extend your life.
A recent study published in The Lancet revealed that being active literally saves and extends lives, and the activity recommended is only 150 minutes per week (or 30 minutes of exercise five times a week).
The large international study surveyed 130,000 people from 17 countries on their daily exercise habits, concluding that if everyone was active for the recommended 150 minutes per week, a total of eight percent of deaths could be prevented, according to Dr. Salim Yusuf, the principal investigator on the study.
I don't know about you, but I'm thinking we should officially change the term "deadlifts" to "lifelifts." Who's with me?
Still, for some people, even just 30 minutes a day isn't a manageable feat. I feel you fam, but there's some good news.
According to the study, everyday activities that require movement can be just as beneficial as hitting the weight room.
The study made it a point to mention this because most surveys in exercise-related research only include high-income countries, where things like SoulCycle and Pure Barre are available for recreational purposes. However, The Lancet's study also included both low-income and middle-income countries, where everyday activities such as riding a bike to work are more the norm when it comes to fitting fitness into a typical day.
Basically, researchers concluded that hitting up SoulCycle and walking to work are both equally as effective when it comes to exercising -- as long as you're getting those 150 minutes we mentioned.
So yes, that means grocery shopping, cleaning, washing your car, and taking the stairs all count as exercise and will contribute to your ability to live a long, happy, and healthy life.
Plus, the American Heart Association says that you can also decrease your mortality risk by dividing your exercise time into two or three bouts of 10 to 15 minutes each day. Manageable AF, amirite?
While the prospect of a longer life is obviously awesome, remember that exercise is just as much about feeling good and improving your life.
So, once you get in the habit of squeezing in those half-hour workouts, challenge yourself further by focusing on how good movement actually makes your body and mind feel.
According to a study published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise, a 30-minute workout is one of the keys to improving your self-image. A consistent fitness routine also provides long-lasting benefits when it comes to mental health and body positivity, and the endorphins that come with making exercise a priority have been shown to significantly reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.
Plus, once you begin to set goals for your fitness routine, you'll feel more motivated in general, and have loads of newfound confidence to keep you going.
Remember, too, that feeling happy in your own skin when you take care of your body and move it in the ways that make you feel good radiates to all those around you. So your endorphin-infused confidence will literally be contagious, and it might even inspire your friends to get moving, too.
Whether you decide to sweat it out in the weight room, or you simply choose to wake up 30 minutes earlier and go for a leisurely walk each morning, it all adds up in the bigger picture.
Those 150 minutes won't just extend your life; they'll make the one you're living as fulfilling and blissful as you could have ever imagined.