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20 minute workouts can help shed pounds and keep you healthy

Walking is great exercise for women.
Walking is great exercise for women.
Photo by Renee McKay/Getty Images

How many minutes of exercise do you think it takes to boost your metabolism and help to shed a few pounds? Would you believe 20 minutes? And did you know that exercise doesn't have to be sweaty calisthenics - walking the dog, gardening, or any other low impact exercise will do. If you spend most of your day behind a desk, getting up and moving has a big impact on your health and longevity according to journalist Gretchen Reynolds, author of the book, The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer.

To live healthier and longer people must fit in at least 20 minutes of exercise a day, Reynolds claims in an article to POPSUGAR Fitness. "Fitness is almost certainly more important than fatness." And "if you have to choose, choose to be fit, whether you lose weight or not."

Studies found that even a low-intensity workout can be beneficial to your health, reducing the risk of diabetes, cancer, and other illnesses. Reynolds states in an interview with The New York Times. Sculpting your muscles makes a body look good, but healthy muscles helps your body function well - from doing simple household chores to preventing injury from a false move. It doesn't take a long and strenuous exercise routine to build strong muscles; studies claim that just 20-minute workouts can make gene changes in muscle tissue.

And, what about how you feel? These short workouts improve mood by increasing your endorphin levels. Why not reduce stress by fitting in an enjoyable walk or other low-intensity movement during your lunch hour than worrying about a major gym date? Any kind of movement counts for a healthier and longer life.