Make Activity Part Of Your Lifestyle...

March 7, 2013

New research at Oregon State University suggests the health benefits of small amounts of activity – even as small as one- and two-minute increments that add up to 30 minutes per day – can be just as beneficial as longer bouts of physical exercise achieved by a trip to the gym.
The nationally representative study of more than 6,000 American adults shows that an active lifestyle approach, as opposed to structured exercise, may be just as beneficial in improving health outcomes, including preventing metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Credit: Image courtesy of Oregon State University

Our results suggest that engaging in an active lifestyle approach, compared to a structured exercise approach, may be just as beneficial in improving various health outcomes,” said Paul Loprinzi, lead author of the study. “We encourage people to seek out opportunities to be active when the choice is available. For example, rather than sitting while talking on the phone, use this opportunity to get in some activity by pacing around while talking.
You hear that less than 10 percent of Americans exercise and it gives the perception that people are lazy,Brad Cardinal, a professor of exercise and sport science at Oregon State University said. “Our research shows that more than 40 percent of adults achieved the exercise guidelines, by making movement a way of life.
Cardinal, who has studied the “lifestyle exercise” model for more than 20 years, said one of the most common barriers people cite to getting enough exercise is lack of time. He said the results of this study are promising, and show that simply building movement into everyday activities can have meaningful health benefits.
This is a more natural way to exercise, just to walk more and move around a bit more,” Cardinal said. “We are designed by nature as beings who are supposed to move. People get it in their minds, if I don’t get that 30 minutes, I might as well not exercise at all. Our results really challenge that perception and give people meaningful, realistic options for meeting the physical activity guidelines.”
For example, Cardinal said instead of driving half a mile, try biking or walking the same distance; instead of using a riding lawn mower, use a push lawn mower. Instead of sitting through TV commercials, try doing some sit-ups, push-ups, or jumping jacks during the commercial breaks; and instead of sitting and being a spectator at a child's sporting event, try walking around during the halftime break.
The researchers emphasized that for health benefits, people should seek out opportunities to be physically active.
In our society, you will always be presented with things that entice you to sit or be less active because of technology, like using a leaf blower instead of a rake,” Cardinal said. “Making physical activity a way of life is more cost-effective than an expensive gym membership. You may be more likely to stick with it, and over the long term, you’ll be healthier, more mobile and just feel better all around.

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Oregon State University


  1. Hiya! I just wanted to say how much I love your blog - I always find myself inspired after I read your posts. The great thing is that I'm inspired for lots of different things - sometimes to eat healtier, sometimes to try new foods, sometimes to excercise more... but I always feel encouraged and never demoralized! Thanks for the good posts (and the avocado love!)

    Rachel (

    1. Thank you so much Rachel for this comment, it means a lot to me!