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Shortcut to Better Health: 20 Minutes.

Stashed in: #health, #greatness, Practice, Standing, Longevity!, Blink, America!, Psychology!, Becoming, Willpower!, Begin!, Be here now., Life Automation

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Gretchen Reynolds says to move 20 minutes a day:

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.

Without being evangelical, I wanted people to understand that this is a book about how little exercise you can do in order to get lots and lots of health benefits.

Two-thirds of Americans get no exercise at all. If one of those people gets up and moves around for 20 minutes, they are going to get a huge number of health benefits, and everything beyond that 20 minutes is, to some degree, gravy.

Two thirds of Americans get NO exercise at all?!

How is that possible?

Ms. Reynolds says we don't have to do hard exercise; we just have to do something.

"Humans," she writes, "are born to stroll."

Funny, one of the things research recommends to help motivate people to get to the gym is not thinking about the beginning of the workout. That's the most unpleasant part and it makes us dread it. We usually feel pretty good by the end and focusing on that is more motivating.

I still love the tip you gave me to sleep in my gym clothes so I can just wake up, put on my sneakers, and go without thinking about it.

I tried checklists because there's good research there:

And while they're helpful, I don't think it gets past that cerebral/emotional divide as well as habits do. A checklist requires willpower and ultimately we want to get away from willpower and automate behavior that is necessary but challenging:

After many months of trying, I've concluded that habits are way better than checklists.

And automation. Automate as much as possible.

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