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Can you Get Fit in Under 15-Minutes?

Updated: Jan 10

Are you getting enough exercise? If not, you’re not alone. Nearly 80 percent of Americans avoid working out simply because time constraints prevent them from reaching their daily fitness goals.


10-15 minute workouts, or "micro workouts" are perfect for people with packed schedules. In these shorter workouts you target several total body exercises and perform them at a higher intensity than you would if you had more time. You can start by doing speedy sets of push-ups, squats, planks and jumping jacks, or you can alternate between short surges of sprinting with a walk if you wish to go outdoors.


What are the Benefits of Micro-Workouts?

Many experts have found these short exercise sessions to be advantageous to our health. One 2016 study revealed that a 10 minute workout consisting of sprint intervals could deliver health benefits similar to a 45 minute workout at a moderate pace. The secret here is these kinds of short workouts utilize high intensity interval training. When participants are given a limited time to workout, they can push themselves harder to perform well in condensed regimes and activate all their major muscle groups.


Short bursts of intense activity can yield longer-term benefits, such as;

  • Better heart health

  • Boosted endurance

  • Lost weight

  • Stronger muscles

  • Improved insulin absorption

  • And improved mental focus is noticeable after completing just 10 minutes of vigorous exercise.

Micro Workouts Sound Awesome, What's the Catch?

Micro workouts have been proven to improve cardiac health when performed regularly. And several studies noted a positive effect of high intensity exercise in overweight and/or sedentary individuals. For those with very low levels of fitness, this can mean a significant decrease in mortality risk (up to 5x improvement over all cause mortality risk).


And better control of blood sugar levels has been noted in overweight individuals following a 2-month short, but high intensity, period of exercise. Plus, short workouts don’t make you as exhausted as regular workouts, so your hunger appetite won’t overwhelm you right after you finish.


However, if you have a specific health or fitness goal you should know quick workouts can be a great tool to use on your road to success, but they shouldn’t be your only choice if you want to achieve a specific goal.


For instance if your goal is to lose weight focus on a caloric deficit. Diet and exercise will both play a role here. Since weight loss takes time and consistency, short workouts are a good option to stay on track when you run out of time. But for faster results, they shouldn’t be your first & only choice.


And if your goal is to build or develop more muscle you’ll have to work a bit more than 10-15 minutes a day. However, on days when you don’t have time for a full workout, you can still squeeze in a good, focused pump in a just a couple of minutes with the help of isolation exercises.


What kind of Micro Workouts Will you Choose?

Micro workouts are great for anybody with only a few moments to spare or for those too busy to frequent a gym. If you live a sedentary lifestyle and are out of shape, you can improve your general fitness with 10-15 minute workouts. Focus on short bouts of vigorous exercise (8 out of 10 in terms of discomfort) and stay consistent for at least a 6-8 weeks.


Performing a short routine 3-5 times a week is enough. Begin by performing one Micro workout during your day. You can do them in the morning before work, during a lunch break at work, waiting for the kids to get out of school, or in between activities at home.


In addition to being convenient for time crunched adults, many of these workouts don’t require specialized equipment to complete. An article in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal explains a seven minute workout that involves exercises using a chair, wall and your own body weight to accomplish a total body workout that helps develop strength and improves cardiac health.


Tabata training is also great for those looking for a more structured high-intensity micro workout. This interval training routine involves working intensely for 8 sets of 20 seconds of work, with 10 seconds rest in between sets (which equates to 4 minutes of activity). You can choose between cardio and weight lifting depending on which part of your body you want to workout before starting. After completing 8 sets of an activity, take 1-2 minutes to rest before attempting to try another round of Tabata training.


Check with a Specialist Before you Try Micro Workouts.

Before diving into any fitness program, it’s important to check with your doctor to see if it’s safe for you. If you struggle with unsteadiness, dizziness or have a health condition like heart disease, diabetes or an issue with your blood pressure, consult with a medical professional to find out if this fitness regimen works with your lifestyle.

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