Good News! Exercising Less Can Make You Healthier.

Forget marathons, people. The first 20 minutes of exercise confer all its essential health benefits. Fitness researcher Gretchen Reynolds says you can do anything to get your body moving. 

What's the Latest Development?

20 minutes of daily exercise is all you need to be healthy, says health and fitness writer Gretchen Reynolds. And while the word exercise often conjures images of expensive workout equipment and personal trainers, Reynolds says strolling, gardening, even standing up all count as exercise. "The first 20 minutes of moving around, if someone has been really sedentary, provide most of the health benefits. You get prolonged life, reduced disease risk—all of those things come in in the first 20 minutes of being active." Naturally you can exercise more if you want to, but you'll be getting extra points, not essential health benefits. 

What's the Big Idea?

One of the most important discoveries made by recent exercise science is the difference between activity and inactivitythey are not mere opposites. Each has an entire different effect on the body. "If the big muscles in your legs don’t contract for hours on end, then you get physiological changes in your body that exercise won’t necessarily undo." This is what makes Reynolds emphasize the importance of doing somethinganything!to get your body moving. "Just move," she said, "because it really can be so easy, and it really can change your life."

Photo credit:

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Reigning in brutality - how one man's outrage led to the Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions

The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.

Napoleon III at the Battle of Solferino. Painting by Adolphe Yvon. 1861.
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
  • Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
  • Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
Keep reading Show less

The most culturally chauvinist people in Europe? Greeks, new research suggests

Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.

Image: Pew Research Center
Strange Maps
  • Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
  • Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
  • British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
Keep reading Show less

A map of London's most toxic breathing spots

Air pollution is up to five times over the EU limit in these Central London hotspots.

Strange Maps
  • Dirty air is an invisible killer, but an effective one.
  • More than 9,000 people die prematurely in London each year due to air pollution, a recent study estimates.
  • This map visualizes the worst places to breathe in Central London.
Keep reading Show less