Arguably, the main reason most of us don't do what we're "supposed" to do is that the recommendation bar is so high.
Take overcoming the effect of sitting for huge chunks of the day. Research shows sitting for more than six hours a day can make you 18 percent more likely to die from diabetes, heart disease, and obesity than people who sit less than three hours a day.
Research shows sitting for more than 11 hours a day makes you 40 percent more likely to die in the next three years compared with people who sit for less than four hours.
And as Inc. colleague Jessica Stillman writes, research shows sitting can also make you dumber.
All of which is clearly a problem. As an entrepreneur, you're developing long-term customer relationships. Helping your employees grow and develop. Building a future for your family.
You're in it for the long haul -- which requires actually being around for the long haul.
Problem is, one study claimed 150 to 300?minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA, proving there's an abbreviation for everything) is needed to "attenuate" the risk of death associated with sitting time. Another study claimed 60 to 75 minutes per day of MVPA is needed to eliminate the increased risk of death associated with sitting time.
For many people, that's a lot of exercise. So why even try?
Because a new study just published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine indicates that just 11 minutes of exercise of day makes a meaningful difference.
While 30 to 40 minutes appears to be ideal, "those with as little as 11?minutes per day of MVPA in combination with 'low' sedentary time (ie, < 8.5?hours per day) did not differ in risk compared with the referent group (ie, highest third of MVPA in combination with lowest third for sedentary time)."
This is a scholarly way of saying, if you can remind yourself to get up and around a little during the day -- stand for a few minutes every hour, walk around some when you're on a call, etc. -- and then do 11 minutes of exercise at some point, hey, that's basically as good as doing 30 to 40 minutes of exercise per day.
At least where your mortality rate is concerned.
Keep in mind you're looking for "moderate to vigorous." For most people, "moderate" means your heart rate should be within 100 to 120 beats per minute (depending on age, fitness level, medical conditions, etc.).
Think of it this way: If you can carry on a normal conversation while you're "exercising," you're not working hard enough. So take a brisk walk. Walk some stairs. Go for a quick jog. Do some pushups and sit-ups. You don't have to kill yourself, but you do need to break a sweat.
Granted, 11 minutes of exercise per day won't make you significantly fitter, although a solid 11-minute HIIT workout -- here are some examples -- can go a long way.
But it will help mitigate the negative impact on your longevity that results from sitting for large chunks of the day.
And, unlike 30 to 40 minutes per day or more, it is something we can all squeeze into our schedules.