In 2008, The Department of Health and Human Services recommended 150 minutes of moderately intense activity per week, which boils down to 30 minutes of activity a day, 5 days a week. But does it all have to happen at once? Recent fitness trends suggest it does not. Keep reading to find out why more people are opting to break their exercise routines down into 10 or 15-minute bursts.
1. It’s easier to stick to a shorter exercise routine.
We’ve all been through the drill. Step one: decide to start working out. Step two: choose an exercise routine. Step three: complete your routine for two or three weeks, until the newness wears off and it begins to take real work to fit it into your busy schedule. Step four: abandon exercise routine, feel guilty, repeat. Squeezing in 30 minutes of exercise into our face-paced lives can feel really daunting.
When you know it’s only going to take 15 minutes of your time, exercise suddenly feels more accessible. It becomes easier to talk yourself into lacing up your sneakers or rolling out your yoga mat, even on the days when your mind is throwing excuse after excuse at you. But the more days you stick to your workout, the more momentum you build up to keep you rolling.
2. Shorter workouts can be more intense. Enter HIIT.
When you know you’ve only got 15 minutes to devote to your workout, you want to make them count. HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, has gained traction in recent years, and has proven to be an effective method for losing weight, toning up, and improving cardiovascular fitness. HIIT is known for combining quick but intense bursts of exercise with brief periods of recovery time, keeping your heart rate up, and burning more fat in less time than traditional steady-state cardio.
3. Ramp up your metabolism.
Shorter, more intense workouts can have a real impact on your metabolism. According to a 2008 study published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, people who participated in HIIT workouts three days per week showed significant increases in their metabolism, and the good news doesn’t end there. The “afterburn effect” (also known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC) suggests that the more intense the exercise, the more oxygen your body consumes afterward, and the more calories your body will continue to burn. In fact, a Florida State University study showed that participants who completed a HIIT workout continued to burn up to 10% more calories for 24 hours post-workout than participants who completed a steady-state cardio workout.
4. It’s better than nothing.
A quick workout is better than the one that doesn’t happen. If time is what’s keeping you from incorporating daily exercise into your life, then opting for shorter sweat sessions is a good step in the right direction.
As always, please consult your physician before beginning a new exercise regimen to determine if it is suitable for your needs.
Read this article for tips about what to eat and drink before and after a workout > puremarknaturals.com/wellness-blog/what-to-eat-and-drink-before-a-workout.
This blog is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice. Content is for informational purposes only. Please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or health related diagnosis or treatment options.