Don’t have time to exercise? It turns out that short bouts of exercise could provide bigger benefits than you might expect.
Benefits of Short Bouts of Exercise
Most people vastly overestimate how much exercise they need in order to see results. You don’t need to spend 30 minutes or an hour a day at the gym, in the pool, or running laps. In fact, you can get virtually the same benefits using short bouts of exercise throughout the day.
Some established benefits of short bouts of activity include lowered fat and triglyceride blood levels, lower blood pressure, slimmer waistlines and hips, and reduced cravings for cigarettes. And these results are comparable to exercising for 30 minutes continuously per day.
When you exercise in short bouts throughout the day—with sessions lasting between five and 10 minutes—you can get virtually all the benefits of longer exercise sessions.
So let’s say you just woke up and you noticed some dirty laundry on the floor. Bend over and pick it up, piece by piece, and put it in the hamper. Do that for five minutes—picking items up off the floor at a pace that gets your heart rate up—and congratulations, you just completed a five-minute bout of exercise.
An hour later, on your way to work, try leaving five minutes early and walking to a bus stop that’s not right outside your door. Walk with a little more purpose so you get the blood pumping and voilà! In two short bouts, you’ve already done 10 minutes of exercise.
Your daily goal should be to get 30 total minutes of exercise per day, and breaking it up into three to six short bouts can make it far more manageable. Activities can include walking, sitting down and standing up, reaching up high and coming back down again—anything that engages your muscles and gets your blood pumping. It typically takes about five to seven minutes for the endorphin rush to kick in, so the longer you can keep it up, the better. And remember, to get the maximum benefit from these short bouts, you’ll have to work at an intensity that causes you to push yourself.
Short Exercise Bouts: Health Benefits Without the Stress!
Long bouts of exercise can be tough to fit into your daily schedule, but splitting it up can make it far easier to accomplish. You’ll get all the health benefits without the stress of wondering how to fit it into your day!
Source for Today’s Article:
Bouchez, C., “How Much Exercise Do You Really Need?” WebMD web site; http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/getting-enough-exercise?page=1, last accessed March 11, 2016.