If jogging seems to be an unrealistic option, then washing and waxing the car could be just as good for lengthening and adding quality to your life.
The American Surgeon General’s Office has concluded that burning as few as 150 calories a day in some sort of activity reduces the risks of hypertension, coronary artery disease, diabetes and even cancer.
The essential point is to indulge in some activity for 30 minutes a day. Washing the car would fall into that category.
Despite these modest aims, 60 per cent of Americans fall short of this requirement, and a quarter do no exercise at all.
“People who go from a sedentary lifestyle to moderate activity cut their heart disease mortality in half,” said Dr Steven Blair, from the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Texas, and a contributor to the report.
Another study, from the Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, found that a single bout of endurance exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease. However, the exercise was more fitting for supermen it included a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26 mile run.
!AJAMA, 1996; 276:221-5 and 241-6.