Mini-Workouts For Busy People
If youre like most Americans, youd love to workout on a daily basis, but you just dont have the time. Even squeezing a 30-minute treadmill session into your day seems impossible. So, when you hear that the National Institute of Health and the American Heart Association both recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of activity on most days of the week, you quickly wave your white flag of defeat. You simply cant do it!
Fortunately, good news is on the way! The 30 minutes of daily exercise recommended by most reputable organizations does not have to be in one lump of time. You can break-up that 30 minutes into two 15-minute segments or even three 10-minute segments.
Mini-workouts throughout the day are not only more practical, but also more likely to stay part of your permanent daily routine. According to a University of Pittsburgh study, overweight women who did three 10-minute workouts per day actually tallied more minutes of exercise than those who performed traditional workouts of one 30-minute session per day. Thats because the 10-minute sessions were more realistic to squeeze into the day, whereas 30 minutes can seem daunting, and thus easy to skip.
Best of all, these mini-workouts have all the same benefits as longer, traditional training. Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas conducted a two-year study with 230 overweight, sedentary participants. The participants who increased physical activity with simple daily changes, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, garnered the same improvements in blood pressure and body fat as those who logged 30-60 minutes at the gym five days per week.
What can a series of mini-workouts look like in your life? Here are some suggestions for building mini-workouts into your daily schedule
Walk at a brisk pace for 10 minutes before work, 10 minutes on your lunch break, and 10 minutes after work.
Exercise during commercial breaks when you watch your favorite television program. Each hour-long TV program typically has six commercial breaks at three minutes each, which means you can accomplish 18 minutes of exercise during a one-hour show.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator at your workplace and everywhere you visit. Time yourself to log your minutes of stair-climbing exercise.
Park your car in the farthest spot at the grocery store. Log two or three minutes of exercise just walking to the store.
Keep a pair of dumbbell weights in your office drawer or on the kitchen counter. While youre waiting for a fax to transmit or watching dinner come to a boil on the stove, pick-up the weights and do a few strength training moves.
You dont have to set-up camp at the gym to bring fitness into your daily lifestyle. Aim for a few mini-workouts each day, and youll reap the benefits in your waistline and your health.