Are you having trouble making time to exercise? If so, there’s good news. You may be better off doing a short workout routine. Here’s why.
In this busy fast paced world, most people find it difficult to find the time to exercise on a consistent basis. This is unfortunate since a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2005 showed that a high level of physical activity could add almost four years to a person’s life. Quality of life has even been shown to be improved by regular physical exercise. If you’re time strapped but still want to workout, you may want to consider using the time you do have available to work out. There’s more and more evidence that a short workout not only may be effective but if performed properly may even be superior to lengthier ones.
A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology in 2007 showed that men who did short workouts with rest periods in between burned more fat than those who did longer, more sustained workouts. In other words two fifteen minute workouts per day seems to burn more fat than a single sustained thirty minute workout. In order to maximize fitness and fat burning, it’s important to exercise at a higher intensity during these shorter workouts. A slow fifteen minute walk, although better than no exercise at all, wouldn’t be as effective as a fast paced power walk with arm vigorous arm movements.
Short workouts have advantages for the busy person who has little time to exercise. Most people are able to fit in two fifteen minute workouts in a day. There’s even the potential for dividing your sessions into three ten minute workouts a day. Studies have shown benefits from intense exercise sessions as short as ten minutes at a time. The advantage to short workouts scheduled throughout the day is your metabolism will stay elevated over a longer period of time resulting in more calories and fat burned.
A good way to fit in your short workouts is to do set your alarm twenty minutes early and do an intense ten to fifteen minute workout before taking your morning shower. This could consist of a power walk, a fast jog, jump rope, jumping jacks, or rapid stair climbing. Even better alternate a minute of jumping jacks or jump rope with two minutes of resistance exercise using hand weights. Continue alternating exercises for ten to fifteen minutes. Perform a second short workout by taking a fifteen minute fast walk and lunch followed by a repeat of the morning session when you get home from work.
Most people find short workouts to be easier to schedule than longer ones and the shorter workout periods help to reduce boredom. To keep your workouts fresh, continuously change the type of workout you perform at each session. Not only will this keep you motivated but you’ll work different muscle groups which will increase the benefits.
The next time you tell yourself you don’t have time to exercise or you’re too tired, get out your exercise shoes and do a ten minute session. You’ll feel invigorated and exhilarated that you followed through. The best part? You only lost ten minutes in exchange for a wealth of important health benefits.