We hear what we want to hear.
This week, a "news" event caught my ear. It was reported that doing 5 minutes of running a day would increase your life span. What????? The reporter stated that just doing five minutes of running a day was enough exercise.
Of course, I had to disagree, but before I completely dismissed the "news" report, I looked it up. The original study was reported in the New York Times and after reading the entire article, the main points were:
1. If you were not exercising at all, any exercise is an improvement.
2. The 5 minutes of exercise needs to be very intensive. In other words, you are running all out, as if a wild bear was hot on your trail, for five minutes. Try it. This is really hard to do.
3. Anyone attempting this 5 minutes of exercise should be careful of weekend warrior injuries. Running without the proper form can and will cause damage to knees, ankles, and/or back.
4. Other forms of exercise could be substituted for running, but also must be done at a high intensity.
5. The bottom line, running 5 minutes a day could increase your life span by 3 years.
The bad part about this news report is that people will hear that 5 minutes of exercise is enough, and the truth of the matter is that it is not enough. Five minutes of intense exercise MIGHT increase your life by three years, but it won't improve your cardiovascular fitness, it won't improve your bone density, it won't tone your body.
There is no easy way to improve your health. There is no magic pill or magic surgery that will improve your health. You want to be healthier? Two key elements are 100% essential - diet and exercise. We have heard this all our lives, but people only hear what they want to hear. And people want to hear that 5 minutes of exercise is all they need.