Taking a Second Look at Short Workouts
Although it is ideal for good health – particularly when weight loss is the goal – to be able to get a half hour to an hour of exercise into every day, this isn’t always possible in our busy lives. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to give up on exercising completely.
Recent research is giving hope to people who lead very busy lives but who need to be able to reduce their fat levels in order to achieve better health. We don’t all have time to try to get to the gym and spend an hour there on most days of the week. Some days, even a half hour walk can feel like it’s asking too much of our schedules.
Short Workouts Are Underrated
Even short workouts every day can help to keep weight down. Every little bit helps. A couple of minutes of brisk walking at various points in the day actually can add up to help to lose the bulge and the extra inches around your waist.
The goal should still be to head to the gym every day or to head out for a jog or a run when you can, but even if you can’t make it once in a while, you can still squeak tiny bouts of highly-intense physical activity into your day and it will help you to continue to make a difference.
This doesn’t just mean that you can stroll down the hall of your office building and back and hope to drop two pounds while doing it. It means that you will need to bring in a short amount of high intensity activity of at least the level of very brisk walking or higher.
What Do the Scientists Say?
The research that showed that even a couple of minutes here and there throughout the day would make a difference was published in The Science of Lifestyle Change journal.
The researchers analyzed the data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2003 through 2006 which is created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) when it collects the heights, weights, and activity levels for nationally representative samples of people throughout the United States.
Using that data, the researchers used the information from 4,511 obese and overweight individuals and divided them into four different groups. These groups were: the people who exercised for 10 minutes or more in high intensity physical activities (of at least a brisk walk or higher), those who did less than 10 minutes of high intensity activity, those who did over 10 minutes of lower intensity activity at a time, and those who did less than 10 minutes of lower intensity physical activity.
What the analysis discovered was that short workouts at a higher intensity level had about the same efficacy level for lowering the BMIs of the individuals (minute per minute) as the longer stretches of higher intensity exercising. Both of those groups showed a reduced risk of being obese or overweight. Among those whose activity levels had a lower intensity, the same benefits were not achieved.
The Best Short Workouts for You
If you want to benefit from the lesson from this research, all you need to do is start adding more short workouts into your days in case you are unable to complete a longer one all at once.
Use the following short workouts to get started with some additional health benefits and fat burning into your everyday life.
Run or Jog
Running or even just jogging can bring your heart rate up to a higher level far faster than a brisk walk. Moreover, this type of exercise will continue burning fat after you’re done. Even if all you can spare is ten minutes, head on out for a jog or a run and get a quick and meaningful exercise into your day. If you can do it more than once, all the better.
Walking With Poles
If you can only walk for fifteen minutes when you know you’d do better with a half hour, add walking poles to the workout to get more out of it. By adding the poles and making sure you’re walking briskly, you’ll make the exercise more dynamic so that your fast workouts will do more for your entire body.
Hop On a Cardio Machine
Get a strider, elliptical, stair climber, ski machine or another great cardio machine and go for it whenever you can. Place it in your office if you have room at work, or at home, put it in the same place as your TV. That way, it will be right there and ready to use as soon as you have a free moment. Hop on the machine between phone calls, to clear your head when you’re working on a creative task, or even just for a few minutes during a great show or movie you’re watching. This can be particularly good during high stress moments in the show because your energy levels will already be higher.