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Most of us aren’t always 100 percent happy with our exercise output for the week. 

There is always something more we could have done, our subconscious brain tells us. Did you really have to have that extra helping of cake? Why did you skip that workout this week?

When motivation begins to dip as it will inevitably do from time to time, perhaps it is a good time to reevaluate why it is that you have decided to take those steps in working out, or maintaining a healthy diet: it will make you live longer.

A recent study performed by medical journal BMJ showed that people who engaged in moderate to intensive exercise have a far lower risk of dying early compared to those who aren’t so active. Sedentary behaviour isn’t good for you. People who are inactive for 9-10 hours per day (and yes, that includes sleeping) have a higher chance of shuffling loose their mortal coil when compared to those he make more concerted efforts to stay mobile.

Prof. Ulf Ekelund of the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences performed a test to determine how sedentary and active lifestyles interact by giving test patients wearable accelerometers to track the volume and intensity of activities as mundane as cooking and doing the dishes, as well as more robust exercises like jogging.

It found that the inactive members of the study were five times more at risk of an early death (it observed more than 36,000 test cases among people aged 40 to 62 over a period of just less than 6 years).

Guidelines suggest that 150 minutes of moderate activity and 75 minutes of vigorous activity are the recommended guidelines for most people — but the general moral of the story is to “sit less, walk more”.