I write frequently about exercise, an obvious, key component of “Be Healthy,” the sixth of my Six Simple Rules.

I very much like the concept of healthspan – focusing on the longest possible healthy life, not just the longest possible lifespan.

That said, a couple of articles about longevity caught my attention late last year:

The Secret to Longevity? 4-Minute Bursts of Intense Exercise May Help and Exercise 11 Minutes a Day for a Longer Life.

The last part of the “4-minute” article hits on healthspan in addition to lifespan:

“We should try to include some exercise with high intensity…Intervals are safe and feasible for most people. And adding life to years, not only years to life, is an important aspect of healthy aging, and the higher fitness and health-related quality of life from H.I.I.T. in this study is an important finding.”

And the “11-minutes” article makes these two important points…

“For most of us, sitting for prolonged periods of time is common, especially now, as we face the dual challenges of Covid-related restrictions and…winter.”

“Brisk walking is excellent moderate exercise”…in half-hour stints – or even less – might help to lengthen our lives.

The New York Times also had a series of articles to start the year focused on better health for 2021. The final of the seven-part series, To Start a New Habit, Make it Easy, had a bunch of great suggestions. Here are two of them:

  • Sleep in your workout clothes. If you’re trying to start a morning exercise routine, make it easy to get dressed for a morning run or workout. Sleep in some or all of your workout clothes. Put your shoes and socks by the bed.
  • Put hand weights by your desk. Keep light hand weights nearby and do some reps while you’re on a conference call.

Whatever you take away from these articles, I hope you will try to focus on exercise in 2021. As is the case with all habits you want to incorporate into your life, start small and work on one at a time for the 21 days it takes to become a habit.

Be well,