Gretchen Reynolds writes a physical education column for the New York Times, and her blog appears in the “Well” section of the nytimes.com. Last year she published a book called “The First 20 Minutes,” and wrote that there is a clear distinction between how much exercise we need to do to improve sports performance, and how much we need to stay healthy. Reynolds said, “one of the biggest misconceptions is that exercise has to be hard, that exercise means marathon running or riding your bike for three hours or doing something strenuous. That’s untrue and, I think, discourages a lot of people from exercising. If you walk, your body registers that as motion, and you get all sorts of physiological changes that result in better health. Gardening counts as exercise. What would be nice would be for people to identify with the whole idea of moving more as opposed to quote ‘exercise.’ 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.”

Reynolds suggests walking for just about everyone. No fancy gear needed, just a pair of comfortable shoes. “People have gotten the idea that exercise has to be complicated, and that you need a heart monitor, and a coach, and equipment and special instruction. They don’t,” she said. Standing is important too – even if you don’t move. Getting up and out of chair throughout the day does your body good…..  nytimes.com     5/4/12

 

 

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