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  • Writer's pictureChris Gordon

What is the minimum effective dose?



When it comes to exercise, this terminology refers to the least amount of work necessary to achieve a desired outcome. Like all things fitness and exercise out there on the interwebs, this is a topic that has been widely discussed in numerous articles. All you have to do is plug in minimum effective dose exercise into the Google machine and you’ve got reading material for days. The purpose of this article is not to redo what has already been published, or to even create a counter-argument to the MED ideology. The intent is to help you be okay with spending less time in the gym (provided this is something you are currently engaged in) and to consider adopting an ‘always something’ mindset if the gym thingy is not your jam anymore.


Let’s start by saying, adapting a lifestyle that puts health and fitness at the forefront should not suck. If it does, one might consider they are trying too hard to make it fit or trying to do too much too soon…. OR…. The possibility does exist that they may be doing the wrong thing with the wrong people! While we believe that everybody should be doing fitness, we do NOT believe that everybody should be doing fitness the same way in the same capacity. We’d like to believe this is a common sense approach, but we all know that sometimes common sense is not all that common.




So what happens when you find yourself in this awkward place? Meaning, you’ve been doing this fitness thing for a while now, but you have be

gun to find yourself less motivated, maybe you feel beat up after each day, and you feel like what you’re doing doesn’t fit you. When you really dig into it there seems to be a disconnect between what you are doing and what is actually necessary. This is where we talk about MED (here's the minimum effective dose podcast) and how we think we can shift the mindset a bit.


In a recent NY times article two studies were cited in regard to longevity of life as related to exercise or movement. The long and short, well over ten thousand people were sampled and between both studies these conclusions were drawn. Individuals who accumulated 7,000 to 8,000 steps or 30-45 minutes of exercise most days had an increased lifespan. While this does sync up with what we have always thought… exercise and movement can increase life spans; there was a somewhat surprising takeaway. Evidence showed that doing a little more than the 7-8 thousand steps or 30-45 minutes may only increase lifespan marginally, and doing much more than can also be counterproductive. Insert minimum effective dose and the ‘always something’ mindset and the gist of this article.


As was earlier stated, we (as well as countless others) believe that everybody (that is able) should be engaged in some kind of exercise routine. Whether it’s a 10 minute walk around the block, a fitness class, or a 5 minute workout when you get out of bed; the point is to do something to get and keep your body moving. Next week we will dig into MED; so, to wrap up this week we hope you take this away. A little bit can go quite a ways; if you track your steps, work to get to 7,000, if you are doing some kind of exercise look to get a couple hours per week in. The beauty in all of this…. You don’t need a bad ass garage gym, or a gym membership, or a personal trainer, or the latest and greatest tech. Nope, all you really need is a willingness to take care of you.



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