“If people want to be healthier and prolong their life span, all they really need to do is go for a walk. It’s the single easiest thing anyone can do.”

– Gretchen Reynolds, Author of The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can: Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer

“Two-thirds of Americans get no exercise at all. If one of those people gets up and moves around for 20 minutes, they are going to get a huge number of health benefits, and everything beyond that 20 minutes is, to some degree, gravy.”

While weight-loss is certainly an important aspect of an exercise program, she stresses that it should by far not be the only consideration:

“If someone starts an exercise program and improves his fitness, even if he doesn’t lose an ounce, he will generally have a longer life and a much healthier life. It would be nice if people would look at exercise as a way to make themselves feel better and live longer and not necessarily as a way to make themselves skinnier.”

Regarding being sedentary (ie: an office job) , she has this to say:

“I really do stand up at least every 20 minutes now, because I was spending five or six hours unmoving in my chair. The science is really clear that that is very unhealthy, and that it promotes all sorts of disease. All you have to do to ameliorate that is to stand up. You don’t even have to move. I’m standing up right now as I talk on the phone. I stand during most of my interviews now.”

 

Read the rest of the interview at the ever-great ‘Well’ blog at the NYT:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/04/the-surprising-shortcut-to-better-health/

 

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