If you’re looking for the bare minimum of exercise, try running.
A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiography has found that even a little bit of running—say, five to ten minutes a day—can help people live longer. Researchers looked at data that monitored more than 50,000 peoples workout habits for fifteen years. They found that runners lived an average of three more years than non-runners, with a reduction in all-cause mortality of 30% and cardiovascular mortality reduced by 45%. Interestingly, people who ran less than an hour each week showed the same mortality benefits as those running more than three hours per week.
With no gym membership required, coupled with the fact that you can start right when you step out your door, it’s tough to beat running as an exercise. You can even do it in the winter. According to the study’s authors, “Running is so convenient and popular. Most people can run. It’s easy and there are a good number of people who are interested in running as an exercise.”