Don’t Dismiss Short Workout

Mature Woman working out at home.

Don’t dismiss a short workout. A short but higher intensity workout can be more beneficial than a long workout.

Many people think that if you can do only a short workout, say 10 minutes, it is not worth doing it since it won’t do any good for the health. However, there is a great benefit in a 10 minute workout, if you do that a few times a day.

According to Arizona State study, people with slightly elevated blood pressure get more benefit from three 10 minute moderately high intensity (75% of maximum heart rate) workout than 30 minutes of a moderate workout.

Actually, the similar fact was known in the exercise field for a quite long time. The workout does not need to be continuous. Short, but high intensity work outs several times a day is as effective as a long moderate workout. I already wrote an article which mentioned that a short high intensity workout is better than one long moderate workout. This is one step beyond that, and definitely no more excuse for anyone who claims they are too busy to work out.

Here is what I suggest for really busy people. Find three 10 minute spots a day, two for cardio workouts and one for muscle building.
As for a cardio workout, you can do at home or you can do at work. For example, if you have an exercise bike at home, you can ride it 10 minutes before breakfast while watching morning news. If you use a bus, get off one stop early and walk at very high pace. You can walk around a parking lot at lunch break. Or you can go to buy lunch several blocks away. If you have a long stair case at work, you can go up and down several times (don’t wear high heels!) You need to be creative, but you need to find two 10 minute spots a day for a cardio workout.

One muscle building is done at home at night. You can do it in morning, too, but your muscles are not warm enough in morning just after waking up, and may not be safe as it was done at night.

While watching evening news on TV, you want to do pushups; sit ups, and squats/lunges alternatively without break for 10 minutes. This is one of the most inattentive workouts of the day, and probably you will sweat a lot; that is why you want to do it at home.

You can take this idea to extreme; you can do some physical activities all day long. You can get standing desk, you can use stairs, you can use a balance ball as a chair, and even a fidgeting in a chair is good. It is known that people fidget all day long don’t gain weight as much as people who sit still all day long! Any small physical activities will give you accumulated health benefit. So don’t dismiss small activities!

Effects of Fractionized and Continuous Exercise on 24-h Ambulatory Blood Pressure Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Jul 6

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