Think exercising isn’t for you? Think again! Even a little bit of movement over the course of a week can go a long way toward improving your health while boosting your energy levels.

Researchers at Oklahoma State University have discovered that even two workouts a week can have a big impact on the number of sick days people take. Their study included 79,000 workers at 250 different sites. Researchers found that people who worked out at least 20 minutes twice a week had fewer sick days than those who didn’t exercise at all.

So, aside from cutting down on sick days, how can two 20-minute aerobic or weight training sessions a week improve your life? Here are just a few benefits of getting active – at least a little – versus staying idle:

  1. Exercising, especially when combined with eating a healthy diet that’s rich in fresh, whole foods, can help improve your overall fitness and health levels. This means you’ll be less likely to get sick and you’ll have a better chance of getting over illnesses faster when they do strike.
  2. Exercise can help improve your energy levels, which means you’ll have more of it to burn. If you find yourself wiped out after work and just can’t do the things you want to in your free time, exercising is a good way to remedy this. Why spend every weekend catching up on sleep only to prepare for another hard week at work? Exercise just a little and you might find you have the energy to tackle that work week and the things you really want to do for yourself.
  3. Exercising can help improve your strength and flexibility. If you find yourself shying away from activities you’d really like to do because you don’t think your body can handle them, it’s time to do something about it. Even a few short workouts a week can improve your endurance level, strength and flexibility. Why, for example, tell the kids you can’t join them for a quick pickup game of ball? Start exercising in short bursts and you’ll be on the court making memories to last a lifetime in no time at all!

Improving your overall health outlook doesn’t have to demand a rigorous workout schedule that ties up five nights a week. Just get started with something small and you’ll thank yourself for it later. For advice on where to begin, consult a trainer at your local gym or fitness center. They’ll have the information you need to create simple workouts that can make a very big difference in your life.