Have you been taught to believe that if you want a big result, you need to make big changes?
I see this in many different areas of life:
In sports and physical training, there are the ever so popular quotes like “no pain, no gain.”
In medicine, we see people with autoimmune diseases taking powerful immunosuppressive drugs or people who are obese having parts of their stomachs removed.
In business we see companies raising tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars before they’ve even made a profit.
Sometimes big results do require big changes. But not all of the time.
In fact, I’ve come to realize that the smaller changes make the biggest and most long-lasting difference in most cases—especially when it comes to health.
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reminded me of something I wanted to share with you. The researchers studied women aged 63 to 99 and found that for each 30-minute increase in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, there was roughly a 40 percent reduction in all-cause mortality. This suggests that a 30-minute session of purposeful movement gave these women a higher chance at a greater quality of life.
This shouldn't be surprising, right?—we've all heard for years now how important exercise is.
What might come as a surprise, however, is that 30 minutes of very light activity—like household chores or walking slowly over short distances—led to a 12 percent reduction in mortality.
Why is this important?
Because when people think that only big changes can make a difference, they aren’t likely to take action. Like everything taking action is a skill. If you're just beginning to be an action taker, I'm going to ask you to allow yourself to grow into it. Start like you're in kindergarten, and allow yourself to learn to become an action taker.
If a completely sedentary person thinks they have to exercise vigorously for 30 minutes five days a week to improve health, they might be so overwhelmed by the magnitude of that change that they end up practicing doing nothing at all. Which will only get them better at doing nothing. Who wants to be an expert at that?
But if they know that even light activity— like doing some gardening, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking a half-mile to the store instead of driving—can make a significant, meaningful difference, they'll be a lot more likely to do it.
And once that happens, it's only a matter of practice to get to the next grade which brings them closer to feeling better, more confident, and more empowered to take the next step.
Small changes = big impact.
Here's to your health,
Track Of The Day - Freak Off - Orchestra Harlow