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An energetic and fit person exercising in vibrant urban scenery, incorporating various daily activities such as walking, cycling, dancing, and swimming.

Benefits of 20-Minute Exercise


Have you ever felt like there weren’t enough hours in the day to workout? Well, we’ve got some good news for you! Recent studies published in JAMA Network Open and the British Journal of Sports Medicine are shaking up our understanding of exercise and health. The research suggests that just 20 minutes of daily physical activity can significantly improve your health and reduce the risk of common health conditions.

The Key Findings

The researchers analyzed data from 81,000 participants and found that exercising for 20 minutes daily can lower your risk of anemia, gallbladder disease, and diabetes. You’ll also be less likely to get hospitalized for these conditions at this level of activity. Those results are backed up by another study, which found that just 11 minutes of exercise a day can help prevent heart disease, strokes, and cancers. According to the study, moderate exercise can cut your risk of early death by 23 percent.

Why 20 Minutes Matters

Boosting immune function, improving insulin sensitivity, improving heart and lung health, and enhancing heart and lung health are just a few of the health benefits of physical activity. In addition to reducing inflammation in the body, it reduces high blood pressure and obesity risk factors, as well as aiding in stress management.

Getting Started with Exercise

Finding an activity you enjoy will help you make exercise part of your daily routine, whether that’s walking, cycling, dancing, or swimming. The best way to start is to walk, cycle, dance, or swim for 10 to 15 minutes each day. To keep motivated, use a fitness tracker to track your daily steps. Don’t forget that even short bursts of exercise can improve your health, such as jogging to catch the bus or taking the stairs.

To improve your health and reduce your risk of common diseases, you don’t need to spend hours in the gym. Several recent studies have highlighted the amazing health benefits of 20 minutes of daily exercise, published in JAMA Network Open and British Journal of Sports Medicine. 

Find an activity which you enjoy and incorporate into your daily routine, whether it’s a quick walk during your lunch break or a dance session in your living room. You’ll thank yourself later!

Author: Amanda Herlocker MS, RDN, LDN

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