One of the biggest challenges folks have with exercising is time. This is a legitimate problem for many people. For example, I have a client who gets up for work at 4:00am, and doesn’t get home until 6pm. That’s a whopping 14 hours between working and commuting! Then, between chores and family obligations, there’s just not enough time to work out. Plus, who has the energy to work out for an hour or more after almost 2/3rds of the day was filled with stress, work, commuting, and chores?
Another problem is, if you are out of shape, you may find that exercising for an hour or more is just too painful, and/or too boring. These are real issues that can stop you from exercising and becoming healthier.
Sedentary = Early Death
The National Institute of Health says that sitting is the new smoking, and that being sedentary shaves years off your life. All metabolic disease like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and various cancers etc., can all be helped by implementing an exercise program (along with your doctors protocol). But how do you offset being sedentary, when you have to sit all day at work, sit during your commute time, then go home and sit for the rest of the night?
Micro workouts are the answer!
Did you know you could get some health benefits from exercising only 10 minutes a day, or even as little as one minute multiple times throughout the day? It turns out that you can! They are called micro workouts and there's a lot of research being done now on the health benefits received from these short duration workouts.
Micro workouts solve all of the issues that come up with exercising:
No time? Do a micro workout.
Too out of shape? Do a micro workout.
Bored in your workout? Do a micro workout.
We can all spare one minute or more, a few times throughout the day, and that's all you need to increase your health.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you’re going to become an athlete by exercising for just one or ten minutes a day, but studies showed that doing a 10 minute workout (at full intensity) is the equivalent of 50 minutes of steady cardio exercise. Thus, performing it three times per week is the equivalent of 150 minutes of steady state cardio, which is the recommended amount of exercise for improved health and fitness.
Here are some documented health benefits from micro workouts:
Increases Metabolism (burn more calories).
Improves mood, and reduce depression.
Increases energy throughout the day.
Increases cognitive function, especially in the morning.
Strengthens your muscles, joints, and bones.
Manages your weight and reduces belly fat (when used with a healthful diet).
How and when to perform micro workouts?
The key to micro workouts is in its intensity. You will want to go as hard as you can for one minute, rest as long as you need to, then perform another intense one minute bout. Rest, and repeat until the ten micro workouts (one minute each) are complete.
If you are a beginner, or are deconditioned, you may find exercising in this manner may be too much, but don't let that stop you. You can even spread out your one-minute workouts throughout the day. For example, I have some clients perform a one-minute workout every hour or so, throughout their day, and they have all shown increases in strength, and cardiovascular improvement. Any movement is better than remaining sedentary!
I even do micro workouts myself when I'm sitting too long, and on days I can't get a full workout in. You can do them while waiting for your morning coffee to heat up, while doing paper/computer work, watching tv, or on social media, any time really.
Here are a few one-minute exercises that you can do:
Pushups (on knees are ok).
Sprinting/Running In Place.
Remember the key is to go as intense as you can (beginners work at your own pace).
There are a lot of workouts on the web that are injuring folks, and leaving them with the inability to exercise. Because of this, I designed my own 10-minute low intensity, and high intensity workouts. These workouts give you the benefits of exercise without the injuries. If you’re interested, in getting them, let me know.
Below are a couple of studies on the benefits of short duration workouts:
Twelve weeks of brief intense interval exercise improved indices of cardiometabolic health to the same extent as traditional endurance training in sedentary men, despite a five-fold lower exercise volume and time commitment: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0154075
And this study from the Journal of American Medical Association that showed drastic improvements in health and weight loss in one of the hardest groups of folks to lose weight - sedentary, overweight, or obese, post menopausal women: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/1108370
*As always get a doctors permission before starting a new exercise program.
For more exercises to improve your performance for fitness and self-defense, get my book, The Short Fight, on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0948LNX5M
You will also get free access to all my exercise and self-defense instructional videos by signing up at www.theshortfight.com
Want to get in the best shape of your life? Check out our fitness training programs here https://www.theshortfight.com/fitness
Until next time, Stay Fit!
Author, The Short Fight