We’ve come a long way in medicine. Polio and the measles have nearly been eradicated. People are living longer than ever. But there are still 5 common diseases that seem to plague us.
In no particular order, they are: breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Each one can cause you to die earlier than you need to. But you can reduce your risk of all of them by doing one simple thing. No pills or concoctions necessary. You don’t even really need to leave your house.
Of course, we’re dealing with another meta-analysis. Unless something is incredibly new, all the knowledge and studies are already there. We just need to take a look at the existing studies, decide which ones are valid, compare them, and see what conclusions we can draw.
This is exactly what a group of researchers did with 174 studies published between 1980 and 2016. Their aim was different than normal. Normally, a group of researchers will seek to prove a certain point. The goal of Kyu and the rest of the researchers was to find a “dose” that would be effective in helping to prevent 5 diseases.
They determined that all it would take to reduce your risk of diabetes, stroke, colon cancer, breast cancer, and heart disease is 3,000-4,000 MET minutes a week.
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What are MET Minutes?
3,000 minutes a week?! Or 4,000?!
Yeah, I’ll admit those are large numbers when your schedule is already packed. So it’s a good thing we’re not talking about actual minutes.
MET stands for metabolic equivalent of task. It’s a number that’s compared to your body at rest. So 1 MET is the energy you expend while sitting down. You’re obviously going to expend more energy when you’re doing an activity. So if you’re running and you’re expending 10 times the calories you expend while at rest, you have a MET value of 10. You can now breathe a sigh of relief.
But if you’re not up to 3,000 or 4,000 MET minutes a week, you can still reduce your risk of diabetes by 2% by getting in just 600 MET minutes of exercise. According to researchers, by bumping it up to 3,600 MET minutes, you reduce your risk by an additional 19%. So it’s well worth the additional effort.
So how do you get to those numbers?
It’s really not as difficult as you think.
It could be as simple as:
- Vacuuming 15 minutes a day
- Climbing stairs 10 minutes a day
- Gardening for 20 minutes
- Walking for 25 minutes
- Jogging for 20 minutes
All of these numbers are for the time you’d have to spend doing them each day for a week. But, as you can see, it’s not much. Some of it is stuff you do on a regular basis anyway. So get your MET minutes in and help yourself live a healthier, longer life.