We tend to think bigger is better.  We have to work harder and faster or we aren’t getting a good enough workout.  Sometimes we even use this as an excuse not to exercise.  But research is showing we can chill out.  You don’t have to go hard or go home.  You can just move.  Here are some research points in favor of a gentler workout:


  • Run Slow (10-min mile)

Running ten-minute miles and under 15-miles a week is more beneficial to your heart health than running faster for longer, which actually diminishes the gain for your heart.  So slow down and enjoy the run.  And stop calling yourself a jogger at a 10-minute mile.  It’s not 1970.  You’re out there running with everyone else.  You’re a runner.

  • Pilates Good For Your Mind

A small study showed that 10-weeks of Pilates increases memory, cognitive function and neural network activity.  You won’t be surprised if you’ve done Pilates.  It’s basically the exercise for multi-taskers.  There’s a lot going on at the same time.

  • Aerobic Exercises Creates New Neurons

That’s right.  Exercise is one of the few things, if not the only thing, in life that creates and builds new neurons in the brain.  This should be reason enough for everyone to keep moving.

  • Running Keeps You Younger
Sometimes I don't even run a 10-min mile.  Not worrying has made running much more fun.

Sometimes I don’t even run a 10-min mile. Not worrying has made running much more fun.

Running often gets a bad rap, but they took a group of seniors who ran (not even extensively and some were new to running) and they found that the seniors who ran for thirty minutes three times per week walked like twenty-something year olds.  Running made walking easier on their bodies.  It changed the amount of energy their body required to move.

  • Mental Health

Any level of movement is beneficial to mental health.  It releases endorphins and makes us less anxious and less depressed.

  • A Walk or Hike
Hiking: Without A Doubt One of My Favorite Past Times.

Hiking: Without A Doubt One of My Favorite Past Times.

Just taking a walk or a meandering stroll through the forest is beneficial.  Being outside makes workouts easier.  You can do more, work harder and go further without noticing, plus you get the added benefits of fresh air, Vitamin D and getting away from the desk or the chaos of your typical schedule.

Get moving.  It will make you feel better and is nearly always beneficial.  Ease into exercise.  You don’t have to work so hard you hate it.  Find a type of movement you love whether it’s walking, hiking, dancing, running (gently), Sweating to the Oldies (or your favorite workout video) or playing a game of tag with kids.  Movement can be fun.  It doesn’t have to be hard.