Starting an exercise routine doesn’t need to be hard

Starting an exercise routine doesn’t need to be hard

With festive food and tasty treats, it’s likely your holiday season was delightful.

But your exercise routine — or your lack thereof … was it frightful?

Making exercise routines stick in a new year is hard for many of us. But with a few tips, it doesn’t have to be.

If you walk just 11 minutes every day, you already are well on your way to a longer life. According to a study that involved the health records of 30 million people, researchers concluded in the British Journal of Sports Medicine that walking for even that short duration lowers your risk of premature death by nearly 25%. In fact, such a jaunt lowers your risk for heart disease and cancer, too.

But why stop there? You can boost your brain health by walking four days a week. Brain scans from a study of people 70 and older found that brain connections and cell networks grew stronger in committed walkers.

Perhaps you want to burn fat. In that case, try a morning workout. Research in mice showed that animals who ran within a few hours of waking burned more fat than those who did so later in the day. That’s because morning workouts release more fatty acids into the bloodstream, which fuels muscles.

And get this: You need not overexert yourself. The key to finding your fat-burning zone is moderate exercise. The lighter the workout, the more your body uses fat for energy. That’s because the harder you work physically, the more your body relies on carbohydrates for fuel.

For walkers, the fat-burning pace is about 2.5 to 3 miles per hour, or a 20-minute mile.

What are you waiting for? Grab your shoes, tie your laces and start walking. Soon, your friends will be trying to keep up with you.

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