Exercise: A little goes a long way
If you haven't made it to the gym much so far this year, take heart--you may be able to gain as many health benefits from everyday activities. A study from Oregon State University found that simple activities, such as shoveling snow, raking leaves, walking up and down stairs and even pacing during a phone conversation could provide health benefits similar to a more structured exercise regimen.
After analyzing data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey – a large, ongoing study that assesses the health and nutrition of American adults and children – researchers found that 43 percent adults who did only small bouts of physical activity several times a day managed to meet the federal recommendation of 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week.
Interestingly, the researchers also found that only about 10 percent of people who relied on more structured workouts for their exercise (the kind that involve a gym and a shower afterward) met the federal guidelines.