Forget the old “No pain, no gain” mantra. Doctors now believe that even short bouts of relatively mild exercise can help improve your fitness level — especially for people who are just getting started with exercise. Though it’s not likely to give you the body of a swimsuit model, doing some sort of moderate activity for 30 minutes every day can bring real health benefits.
And if you add 30 minutes of chores to a 30-minute session of a more traditional fitness activity (like walking or biking), you end up with a full hour of exercise — the amount experts recommend for people trying to lose weight. That can be easier on your schedule than trying to fit in a 60-minute workout all at once.
“If it doesn’t take additional time, people are more likely to do it,” says Joel Press, MD, a physiatrist with the Center for Spine, Sports, and Occupational Rehabilitation of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.