A promotion. An exchange of vows. A sunset. A lot of wonderful things can happen in five minutes. So too, can a healthier you.
That’s right. A healthier, happier, more balanced, you can happen with just a few minutes of exercise each day, and this certainly would be wonderful for many of us.
Let’s explore the science behind micro-workouts, and how they can help us achieve our wellness goals.
Any Amount Of Activity Benefits Muscles
A 2018 Arizona State University report shows that micro-workouts are effective if they are done consistently. The authors of the study suggest that short bursts of calisthenic exercise, even just five to ten minutes in length a day, can help you get fit.
Calisthenic exercises are ones that use body weight and require minimal equipment. Examples include squats, calf raises, and pushups.
The reason this can work is that just simply contracting muscles helps improve heart function and insulin resistance. So even just a short duration of calisthenic exercise is beneficial for overall health.
Short Workouts Add Up
The same report also explains that doing short bursts of exercise throughout the day can be as effective as one, longer exercise.
For example, study participants experienced fat loss and an increase in cardiovascular health just by taking a 2-minute brisk walk every hour during their work day. If they worked for eight hours, this added up to 16 minutes of exercise.
Another study revealed additional benefits to breaking up exercise into short chunks instead of one long workout. Instead of exercising for one hour all at once, study participants exercised multiple times throughout the day, in short duration. They actually felt fuller and more satiated throughout the day, so they craved food less.
Micro-workouts are certainly significant if they help us with fat loss, heart health, and feelings of satiety.
Intensity Matters More Than Duration
A University of Utah study shows that what is important is putting our heart and lungs to work. We can achieve the same benefits in five minutes as we can in an exercise of ten minutes or longer.
In fact, the study found that shorter workouts of higher intensity came with a lower risk of obesity than longer workouts at lower intensity.
The study suggests that walking at a rate of three miles per hour is enough to reach an effective level of intensity.
How can you get in short bursts at 3mph? Take the stairs, park at the far end of the parking lot, and walk between errands as much as possible.
Exercise Improves Mood
After a five minute workout, we experience numerous benefits to our mental well-being. Though we may think of exercise as tiring, studies show it increases our energy levels and motivation. Exercise can also improve our sleep, sharpen our focus, and decrease depression.
When we finish a workout, we also feel more confident and experience a sense of accomplishment. Physical activity can also distract us from stressful situations or thoughts and can provide short breaks in otherwise busy schedules.
So even with just five minutes of exercise, we feel these mental advantages.
So Let’s Recap
Numerous studies show that there are benefits to micro-workouts of about five minutes.
Five minutes of exercise can improve our cardiovascular health, increase our fat loss, provide more feelings of satiety throughout the day, lower our risk of obesity, and generally contribute to our mental well-being.
If finding the time to workout has been one of your biggest hurdles toward physical fitness, then worry no longer.
Find five minutes, and you’ll be on your way to a healthier, happier, more balanced you.